Gann, Dharwadker Finalists in SIVB Research Competition; Gann Takes Second Place

(Right) Peter James Gann, doctoral student, cell and molecular biology; (Left) Dominic Dharwadker, undergraduate student, honors biochemistry.
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(Right) Peter James Gann, doctoral student, cell and molecular biology; (Left) Dominic Dharwadker, undergraduate student, honors biochemistry.

Peter James Gann and Dominic Dharwadker presented their research papers during the Society for In Vitro Biology (SIVB) meeting in San Diego, California, on June 4-7, 2022, and both were selected as finalists in the Plant Biotechnology Oral Presentation Competition.

Gann placed second for his presentation, "Deletion in the GATA Promoter Element of Vacuolar H+ Translocating Pyrophosphatase (VPPase) by CRISPR/Cas9 Reduces Chalkiness in Rice." Dharwadker is the only undergraduate of the six finalists who are all doctoral students. He presented the research project "Targeted Mutagenesis of the Vacuolar H+ Translocating Pyrophosphatase (VPPase) Promoter Elements Impacts Germination and Seedling Growth in Rice by Inhibiting Sucrose Formation and Acidifying the Cytoplasm."

Gann is a doctoral Fulbright scholar in cell and molecular biology from Laoag City province of Ilocos Norte, Philippines, and Dharwadker is an undergraduate honors fellow in biochemistry and French from Springdale, Arkansas.

Gann and Dharwadker collaborate in their research projects under the guidance of Vibha Srivastava, a professor under the Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences Department (CSES) of the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences. Together, they aim to understand cellular and molecular mechanisms of genes in germination, growth and grain-filling of rice through gene editing approach using CRISPR/Cas9. Other research staff in the CSES Department working with both students in their projects are Soumen Nandy, Chandan Maurya and Shan Zhao.

During the SIVB meeting, Gann and Dharwadker also received their previously announced awards recognizing their significant contributions and outstanding achievements in the field of in vitro biology. Gann received the Hope E. Hopps and Student Travel Awards, and Dharwadker won the Wilton R. Earle and Student Travel Awards.

About SIVB: The Society for In Vitro Biology (SIVB) is a professional society devoted to fostering the exchange of knowledge of in vitro biology of cells, tissues and organs from both plant and animals (including humans). The focus is on biological research, development and applications of significance to science and society. SIVB's mission is accomplished through the society's two world-class journals and newsletter; national and local conferences, meetings and workshops; and through support of teaching initiatives in cooperation with educational institutions.


Chanda Maurya, program associate
Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences

Robby Edwards, director of communications
Bumpers College


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