International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Topics (ICRISAT), Patancheru, 502 324, India
Rajeev Varshney is Global Research Program Director- Genetic Gains at ICRISAT. The Research program Genetic Gains includes genebank, pre- breeding, genomics, genetic engineering, forward breeding and seed system themes/ disciplines. He is also Winthrop Research Professor at the University of Western Australia. Previously, he served the CGIAR Generation Challenge Program based in Mexico as a Leader for the Theme-Comparative Genomics and Gene Discovery for six years; and worked at the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK), Germany, for five years.
Rajeev, with a basic background in genetics, genomics and molecular breeding possess 15 years research experience in the area of international agriculture. He is internationally recognized for leading/ collaborating multi-national and multi-disciplinary consortium to decode the genomes of several crops including pigeonpea, chickpea, peanut, pearl millet, sesame, mung bean and adzuki bean. Together with his partners mainly in developing countries, he is engaged in deploying genomics and sequencing technologies to mine superior alleles in the germplasm collections and utilize them, through, genomics-assisted breeding, for crop improvement. At present, he is coordinating “The 3000 Chickpea Genome Sequencing Initiative”, one of the “teeth” of DivSeek, in collaboration with several international organizations.
He is leading Tropical Legumes III, South Asia Regional Hub of Integrated Breeding Platform and the ICRISAT node of Global Open Breeding Informatics Initiative (GOBII) projects. In addition, he is playing significant role in a number of other international initiatives/ boards/ committees/ expert groups related to genomics, bioinformatics, molecular breeding.