News 2017-01-15: PhD Student from Tanzania Kicks off Borlaug LEAP Fellowship Program at the Plant and Animal Genomics Conference in San Diego

James Mushi, a PhD student conducting research at the Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania under the Genomics to Improve Poultry Program, kicked off his Borlaug LEAP Fellowship Program1 at the prestigious Plant and Animal Genome Conference (PAG) in San Diego. PAG brings together over 3,000 leading scientists in plant and animal genetics research to discuss recent developments and plans for genomics projects.

James, whose research focuses on enhancing innate resistance to Newcastle disease in indigenous chickens in Tanzania, had the opportunity to network with animal geneticists to exchange ideas and applications related to genetic variability, selective breeding, and maintaining genetic resources for ensuring sustainable improvements to poultry production. In addition to providing James with new insight into approaches and next steps for his graduate research, the conference provided him broader perspective on the application of genomics to address increasing global demands for protein. He stressed how the conference was “an amazing lifetime experience” inspiring him to work toward “safeguarding our world against the challenges of global warming and food insecurity”. He hopes to share his contributions to improving food security in Africa through his research at a future PAG conference.

1The Norman E. Borlaug Leadership Enhancement in Agriculture Program is supported through the US Government’s Feed the Future Borlaug 21st Century Leadership Program funded by the United States Agency for International Development. Borlaug LEAP is managed by the International Programs Office, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of California, Davis.

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