Dr. M. Muthamilarasan, Assistant Professor in the Department of Plant Sciences, School of Life Sciences, University of Hyderabad, has been selected for the prestigious ‘Har Gobind Khorana-Innovative Young Biotechnologist Fellowship’ awarded by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India.

Dr. M. Muthamilarasan

The DBT instituted ‘Har-Gobind Khorana Innovative Young Biotechnologist Fellowship’ (IYBF) to identify and nurture outstanding young scientists with innovative ideas and desires to pursue research in frontier areas of Biotechnology. This fellowship consists of research grant support and a cash award to the awardee. Also, non-recurring support will be provided in the first year for procuring any equipment essentially required for carrying out the research activities of the proposed project.

On the eve of the International Year of Millets 2023, the IYBF award conferred to Muthamilarasan will encourage him to pursue innovative research on minor millets, which deserves immediate research attention to address food and nutritional security. Muthamilarasan’s team has been studying several pre-harvest and post-harvest traits in foxtail millet, and the students are extensively involved in field and lab work.

In addition, his group is studying the role of stress-responsive genes to answer why and how millets survive harsh climatic conditions and disease attacks by different pests and pathogens. The IYBF project of Muthamilarasan will shed light on this question, particularly in the area of millet-pathogen interaction, which will contribute to the long-term goal of developing resistant lines to broad-spectrum pathogens.

The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. B.J. Rao, congratulated Muthamilarasan on his selection for IYBF and wished him more success in the future.