US & Pak cotton researchers win ICAC award
May 03, 2012 (United States of America)
The International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) started honoring a researcher in 2009 by awarding him/her a certificate of recognition, a shield and an honorarium of US$1,000.
Every year applications are invited from February 1 to March 31 and a winner is announced on May 1. The Selection Committee is comprised of five anonymous judges outside the ICAC Secretariat. There are two winners of the ICAC Researcher of the Year 2012, Dr. Yusuf Zafar from Pakistan and Dr. Andrew Paterson from the USA.
Dr. Yusuf Zafar, Chief Scientist/Director General, Agri & Biotechnology Division, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, Islamabad, is a pioneer who established a strong and viable cotton biotechnology research program in Pakistan. He has published over 110 scientific papers in reputable national and international journals. His group accounts for nearly 90% of the global published literature in cotton virology.
His strong collaborative efforts resulted in joint research with major cotton groups in the world, particularly in Australia, China, UK and USA. Dr. Zafar was on the front line of efforts to establish Biosafety Protocols, Plant Breeder Rights, Intellectual Property Rights/Patents and ISO certification in Pakistan.
Dr. Zafar and his team contributed substantially to the elevation of researchers in Pakistan, and they mentored nearly 100 masters students and 30 doctoral students in the country on various aspects of R&D in cotton. He organized 32 national/international training courses, workshops and conferences on various aspects of cotton.
In 2001, the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, Dr. Zafar's parent organization, awarded him the Best Scientist of the Year Award. The President of Pakistan awarded him ‘Tamgha-e-Imtiaz (Medal of Distinction) in 2004, the highest recognition for a researcher in the country.
Dr. Zafar is a member of USDA Cochran Fellow on Agriculture Biotechnology and also won Rockefeller Foundation and UNESCO Research Awards on Agri-Biotechnology. He is at present on the Board of Governors of the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology-ICGEB (Italy), he is a FAO country focal person on agriculture biotechnology, and he is a member of the Cotton Policy Committee of the Govt. of Pakistan.
Dr. Andrew H. Paterson, Regents Professor, heads the University of Georgia's Plant Genome Mapping Laboratory, using genomics to study crop improvement, plant biodiversity, and molecular evolution.
The Plant Genome Mapping Laboratory has advanced knowledge of cotton, sorghum, sugarcane, peanut, Bermuda grass, and many other crops, several weeds, one nitrogen-fixing bacterium (Azospirillum), poultry and viruses.
Dr. Paterson has authored 272 scientific papers, 67 book chapters, edited 4 books, given 183 presentations, and been cited over 16,000 times. He has trained 102 undergraduates and 53 postdocs, co-conferring 37 advanced degrees with 14 in progress.
He won “Young Crop Scientist of the Year" award in 1996 from the Crop Science Society of America. He chairs the International Cotton Genome Initiative, and received its first Award for Outstanding Contributions to Cotton Genomics in 2010. Dr. Paterson has received many additional awards from national organizations in the USA. He has served on nine editorial boards, and as reviewer to many granting agencies and initiatives.
The International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC)