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Indian-American scientist serves as acting Director of top US agriculture organization

Dr Parag Chitnis serves as acting head of top US agriculture org.

WASHINGTON: Eminent Indian-American scientist Dr Parag Chitnis has been appointed the Acting Director of the prestigious National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

NIFA drives all federally funded agricultural research in the United States.

Chitnis was named Associate Director for Programmes earlier this year and leads the implementation of NIFA’s approximately USD 1.7 billion research projects.

The Indian-origin scientist replaces Dr Scott Angle who accepted a position as Vice President of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Parag Chitnis is director of the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences for the National Science Foundation. Previously, he served the division as deputy division director, program director and visiting program director. He also has held faculty positions at Iowa State University and Kansas State University. He was a postdoctoral fellow and research associate at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology in Nutley, N.J. His primary areas of research are plant biochemistry, photosynthesis and proteomics.

Chitnis received a Ph.D. in biology from UCLA and a master’s degree in genetics/biochemistry from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute in New Delhi. He has written more than 100 journal articles and, as a faculty member, earned funding from NSF, USDA, NASA, NIH and private sources

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