Abhaya Dandekar

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    Dr Abhaya M. Dandekar is a Professor in the Plant Sciences Department at the University of California, Davis. He obtained a M.S and Ph.D. from the Department of Microbiology at the M.S. University of Baroda, India in 1974 and 1979 respectively. In 1979 he was awarded a John E. Forgarty Visiting Fellowship to conduct post doctoral research at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. After completing his post doctoral studies at NIH in 1982 he joined the faculty in the Plant Growth Laboratory at the University of California, Davis (UCD) as an Assistant Research Geneticist. In 1984 he was hired as an Assistant Professor in the Dept of Pomology at UCD, obtaining tenure in 1990 and Professorship in 1997. In 2005 the Pomology Department was merged with 3 others to create the Plant Sciences Department. Current teaching focus is in the area of functional plant genomics, molecular biology and biotechnology. His research is aimed at deciphering the genes that regulate the function of phenotypic traits that impact quality (fruit quality/nutrition) and productivity (disease/pest resistance) in tree fruit crops using functional genomics approaches that involve transgenic plants and gene silencing technologies.  He has over 155 peer reviewed publications and pioneered transformation of tree fruit and nut crops conducting the first field trial of walnut – 1989; apple – 1991; persimmon – 1998). Currently, Director of Ralph M. Parsons Plant Transformation Facility on the Davis Campus that provides plant transformation service to the research community both public and private. He was one of the faculty responsible for developing undergraduate major in ‘Biotechnology’ on Davis campus and served as its master advisor and was also chair for the Designated Emphasis in Biotechnology (DEB). He actively participates in graduate and undergraduate advising, is advisor for two graduate groups teaches biotechnology courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Is very active nationally and internationally in strategic planning in biotechnology.