Eminent rice scientist and academician appointed new SEARCA Director

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Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio has been appointed as new Director of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), an inter-government treaty organization hosted by the Philippine government on the campus of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), for a three-year term and he assumed office on 1 May 2019.

Dr. Gregorio is the eleventh to hold the top SEARCA post since its establishment in November 1966 by the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO).

Dr. Gregorio is also an Academician at the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) of the Philippines and is currently a professor at the Institute of Crop Science of the UPLB College of Agriculture and Food Science.

A distinguished rice scientist, Dr. Gregorio served the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) for almost 30 years, including a five-year stint as IRRI’s rice breeder in Africa based at Africa Rice Centre station at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Nigeria from 2004 to 2009.

Throughout his career, Dr. Gregorio has bred more than 15 rice varieties, most of which are salt-tolerant varieties that have greatly helped farmers in Bangladesh, India, Nigeria, and the Philippines. He also led efforts to develop micronutrient-dense rice varieties to address anemia and malnutrition in Bangladesh, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

But rice breeding is not Dr. Gregorio’s only forte. Prior to his appointment as SEARCA Director, he also served as Crop Breeding Manager for Corn at the East-West Seed Company, Inc. from 2015 to 2018 where he was the global lead of the sweet corn and waxy corn breeding programs for South and Southeast Asia, the Latin Americas, and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Dr. Gregorio has been the recipient of numerous awards, including Outstanding Young Scientist Award (OYS 2004) and Outstanding Publication Award given by NAST; The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM 2004) in the field of Agriculture-Plant Breeding and Genetics; the Ho Chi Minh Medal Award for great contribution to the cause of agriculture and rural development in Vietnam; Ten Outstanding Youth Scientists (TOYS 1981) of the Philippines given by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) of the Philippines; Honorary Scientist, Rural Development Administration (RDA), Korea; and other awards for his outstanding research and research management achievements.

He has authored and co-authored at least 90 articles published in various scientific journals, chapters on rice breeding in 14 books, and five scientific manuals and bulletins. He mentored and supervised 20 PhD and 27 MS graduate students and more than 40 BS students in plant breeding and genetics at UPLB and other universities in Asia, Africa, Europe and North America; and he continues to hone scientists and future scientists as a mentor and teacher.

Dr. Gregorio obtained his PhD in Genetics, MS in Plant Breeding, and BS in Agriculture at UPLB.

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