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CIMMYT and its scientists receive two major CGIAR awards

Jose Crossa, head of CIMMYT’s Biometrics and Statistics Unit, has received the 2008 CGIAR Outstanding Scientist Award for leading the development of statistical-genetic models for effective genetic resources conservation, characterization, and utilization, minimizing the loss of genetic variability. In addition to this significant contribution to the CGIAR’s core work, he and his team developed statistical models that have helped geneticists and breeders to understand and interpret genotype-by-environment and QTLby- environment interactions, and to build more effective selection indices. Finally, his most recent contributions include important work on functional genomics and association mapping.

Crossa has authored or coauthored over 150 international refereed journal articles, over 20 book chapters, and more than 60 technical papers and proceedings papers.

“The brilliance of Dr. Crossa’s work is that it helps crop genebanks ensure their collections stay fresh without sacrificing the genetic diversity that is so central to their mission,” said Tom Lumpkin, director general of CIMMYT. “His contribution to crop science is vital to conserving the plant genetic resources which we will literally depend upon for our survival.”

CIMMYT also shared the 2008 CGIAR King Baudouin Award for its part in a massive and intensive 10-year effort to rejuvenate food production in countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus (CAC). The project has marshaled the talents of experts from nine CGIAR centers worldwide to implement dozens of new agricultural and environmental technologies that are boosting food production and incomes in the CAC region. The other centers involved were, ILRI, CIP, ICARDA, ICRISAT, IFPRI, Bioversity, IWMI, and IRRI.