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Inside CAFNR
CAFNR Office of Research Newsletter // April 20, 2023 // 5(8)
Feature Story
The Legacy of Jake Fisher (click to read)
The Legacy of Jake Fisher »

The T.E. “Jake” Fisher Delta Research, Extension and Education Center remembers its namesake

Research Highlights
University of Missouri Expands World-Class Facilities for Swine Research and Education (click to read)
University of Missouri Expands World-Class Facilities for Swine Research and Education »

Two national grants support growth of pioneering MU swine facilities to accommodate demand for biomedical innovation

CAFNR International Fellows Welcomed to Mizzou Campus (click to read)
CAFNR International Fellows Welcomed to Mizzou Campus

Six international fellows joined CAFNR in late March for a three-month fellowship as part of the Scientific Exchange Program. The fellows are visiting from Senegal, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria, and their faculty mentors include Andrew Clarke, Kantha Channaiah, Azlin Mustapha, Teo Skevas, Laura McCann, Adrienne Ohler and Bing Yang.

The fellows are:

Samuel Amiteye is a Principal Research Scientist at the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission. He is head of the Department of Nuclear Agriculture and Radiation Processing (NARP). His research during the fellowship is focused on enhancing beta-carotene content in yellow flesh sweet potato with CRISPR-cas9 technology by identifying gene targets and advancing sgRNAs.

Adama Kane is an economist and PhD student from Senegal who is studying climate change, food security and migration, with a focus on the role of rural electrification. She is in her third year of doctoral studies at University Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar. She is a scholar in the West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL).

Margaret Olorunfemi is a Lecturer in the Animal Health and Production Department at the Federal College of Agriculture Akure in Nigeria. During the fellowship she will explore practicable methodologies to achieving proper meat handling with recourse to food safety and climate smart agriculture in Nigeria.

Richard Osae is a Senior Lecturer and a Director of the Center for Educational and Professional Studies (CEPS), in the School of Applied Science and Technology’s Department of Food Science and Postharvest Technology at Cape Coast Technical University in Ghana. His research is assessing the essential oils of different ginger varieties as natural food preservatives.

Tiemongo Esther Soro is a PhD student from Cote d’Ivoire who is studying in Senegal’s University of Cheikh Anta Diop. She is a scholar in the West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL). Her research is studying the gendered nature of the uptake of climate smart agriculture technologies and how that impacts food security in a changing climate.

Cheikh Touré is a Biosafety and Biosecurity Manager at the National Control and Analysis Laboratory (LANAC) in Senegal. His research is focused on identifying resistant bacteria in the food sector in Senegal and a database for surveillance of antimicrobial resistance.

Graduate Student Spotlight
Ajay Gupta, Plant Sciences (click to read)
Ajay Gupta, Plant Sciences

What is your research focus?

My research focuses on the development of genome editing toolkits for plant genome engineering and their subsequent utilization for crop improvement. Recently, we have utilized the prime genome editing system for providing resistance against bacterial leaf blight of rice, a major disease of rice.

Why does this field interest you?

I want to contribute my efforts toward global food security. With population outgrowth, climate change, and evolving pathogens, we need fast and smart solutions to adapt our crops quickly for sustained food production. Genome editing is one of the solutions and by developing these tools for crops I feel like I am doing something for future generations and that is what drives me to work tirelessly at my job.

Why did you decide to come to Mizzou?

I was offered a PhD position at Mizzou by my current advisor Dr. Bing Yang and a couple of other schools. My research interests aligned perfectly with Dr. Yang’s research program. As Mizzou is a reputed school and has a strong plant research program, I decided to pursue my PhD at Mizzou under Dr. Yang’s supervision.

What are your future career plans?

I love doing research with plants and I also like to teach. After my PhD, I will try to find academic positions where I can do both research and teaching.

Who is your advisor?

Dr. Bing Yang

CAFNR Research Council
The CAFNR Research Council is continuing its online webinar series for the spring semester. Registration is not required. Upcoming events include:

  • Thursday, April 20, 3:30 p.m.: “Using Cryo-Electron Microscopy to Study Protein Quality Control in Disease,” Stephanie Gates, assistant professor, Biochemistry. Join on Zoom.
Grant Tips

NIH – Revised Post-Submission Material Policy

With the expiration of the Public Health Emergency on May 11 comes the end of the special exception that allowed applicants to submit a one-page update of preliminary data as post-submission materials. However, going forward, NIH is revising our standard post-submission material policy to allow a one-page update with preliminary data to be submitted as post-submission material for Type 1 R01, R21, or R03 applications, including resubmissions, as long as the funding opportunity used for submission allows preliminary data in the application. For applications submitted for the May 25, 2023 receipt date and beyond, the special exception is ended and applicants should follow the new policy.

See this link for details.

Grants Office Offers Training Session for SciENcv, New NSF Grant Requirement

NSF will be requiring the use of SciENcv for all Biosketches and Current and Pending Support documents effective Oct. 23, 2023.  The process includes listing your publications in their online My Bibliography as well as filling in the usual information.  If you get your information set up now, you’ll be ready to go so it will only take a couple minutes to generate the documents when you need them.  SciENcv can be used for NIH biosketches, also.

Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae (SciENcv) is a new electronic system that helps researchers assemble the professional information needed for participation in federally funded research. SciENcv gathers and compiles information on expertise, employment, education and professional accomplishments. Researchers can use SciENcv to create and maintain biosketches that are submitted with grant applications and annual reports. SciENcv allows researchers to describe and highlight their scientific contributions in their own words.

The CAFNR Grants Team is offering training via Zoom on the use of SciENcv. Training will be offered May 2 at 2 p.m. or July 20 at 10:30 a.m. Send an email to Sheryl Koenig to register. Please designate which date you wish to attend. The Zoom link will be sent later to all those who register.

Faculty, postdocs, research staff and grad students are encouraged to attend.

Research Roars

Dean Daubert Elected Incoming President of Institute of Food Technologists

CAFNR Vice Chancellor and Dean Christopher Daubert has been chosen as the president-elect of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). He has been part of the Board of Directors of IFT since 2000, and has also served as Food Engineering Division chair.

“I am excited to lead an organization dedicated to advancing science and promoting people who are addressing global challenges associated with food access,” Daubert said. “Throughout my career, IFT has been a steady and positive influence; a community that provides and shares resources to best serve our industry.”

He will become IFT’s 85th president when he assumes the role on Sept. 1, 2024. As president-elect, effective Sept. 1, 2023, he will work closely with incoming president, Sean Leighton, global vice president of food safety, quality and regulatory at Cargill. Each president serves a one-year term.

Plant Sciences Student Earns GPC International Student Award

Bruna Montes Luz has been awarded the Graduate Professional Council International Student Award. Montes Luz is a graduate student pursuing a PhD in Plant, Insect and Microbial Sciences.

The GPC International Student Award is an award that honors an international graduate or professional student who shows exemplary leadership and service to the university and to the international student community. This award celebrates the accomplishments of international graduate and professional students through their hard work, dedication, and adherence to Mizzou’s core values of respect, responsibility, discovery, and excellence.

CAFNR Represented Among 14 MU Students, Alumni Honored by National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported STEM disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited U.S. institutions. The five-year fellowship includes three years of financial support including an annual stipend of $34,000 and a cost of education allowance of $12,000 to the institution.

This year’s recipients included three CAFNR students and alumni: Daniel Lamm, BS ’20 (biochemistry); Joseph Fritsche, BS ’21 (biochemistry); and Chantelle Wimms, current graduate student in natural resources. Alyssa Smolensky, current graduate student in natural resources, received an honorable mention. Wimms and Smolensky are both members of the Halsey A.C.E. Lab, led by Samniqueka Halsey, assistant professor in the School of Natural Resources.

Read more on Show Me Mizzou.

CAFNR faculty members have received the following recent grants (listed by Principal Investigator):

Henry Nguyen, Gene editing and innovative mutation breeding approaches to develop 2nd generation improved soybean soluble carbohydrate composition, Texas Tech University, 10/1/22-9/30/23, $105,362

In the News

IFT selects Christopher Daubert as board president

Shut down your cow’s hay buffet to reduce waste

MU Extension Seeding Rate Trial Looks at Furrow-Irrigated Rice
Morning Ag Clips

Talk About a Sticky Situation

What’s the latest with the Black Sea Grain deal?
Farm Progress

Fact check: GMO foods pose no added risk of editing genes, experts say
Yahoo! News