Plant cytogenetics nabs $10k study award

Dr Prashant Joshi.

Dr Prashant Joshi has been awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Technicians' Study Award of $10,000 from TeachNZ to learn about the latest techniques in plant science.

Dr Joshi, a research/teaching technician in plant science within the Institute of Fundamental Sciences, will use the award to fund a trip to the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom, to learn the latest molecular cytogenetic techniques.

“The study of chromosomes from different plant species is a little bit art and a little bit science, requiring a lot of patience and attention to detail,” Dr Joshi says.

He will undertake his research leave from October to February in the lab of Dr Pat Heslop-Harrison, an expert in plant cytogenetics at the University of Leicester.

Group leader for the Genetics, Genomics, and Evolution Research Group, Dr Jennifer Tate said this is a fantastic opportunity for Dr Joshi to upskill.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for Prashant to get up-to-speed on the latest cytogenetic techniques, which are now taking advantage of whole genome data and putting it back into a chromosomal context. Surprisingly, there is very little research capacity in New Zealand for cytogenetics, so Prashant will become the resident national expert in these methods,” Dr Tate says.

About the award:

Established in 1970, the Queen Elizabeth II Technicians' Study Awards are available to a wide range of disciplines to extend their training in a Commonwealth country. These technicians can come from a range of scientific fields from physics and engineering to town surveying and fishing. One condition of the award is that the research or study be undertaken in a Commonwealth country

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