Texas Tech University

Biotechnology expert Chien Ha advances in IGCAST research team

Norman Martin

April 17, 2023

Chien Ha, an international expert in biotechnology, has been named a research assistant professor within Texas Tech University's Department of Plant & Soil Science, according to officials within the Davis College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources. He officially steps into his new research post on May 1.

Ha will continue working within the Davis College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources' leading scientific team - the Institute of Genomics for Crop Abiotic Stress Tolerance. Ha is expected to lead projects involving evaluation of abiotic stress – drought, salt, cold and heat, high CO2 – tolerance and yield potential of Arabidopsis, cotton, sorghum, soybean, common bean and corn in greenhouse and field conditions.

One of Ha's primary goals at Texas Tech is to develop stress resilient sorghum and cotton by the use of signaling molecules and genetic engineering.

Prior to joining Texas Tech as an IGCAST research scientist in 2020, Ha served as a postdoctoral scientist with the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in Missouri, and a postdoctoral researcher with the Riken Center for Sustainable Resource Science in Japan. He is a member of the American Society of Plant Biologists, North American Plant Phenotyping Network, and the International Plant Phenotyping Network.

He received his bachelor's degree in biotechnology and master's degree in experimental biology both from Hanoi University of Science - Vietnam National University. His doctorate in biotechnology is from the Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences (Hanoi, Vietnam) in collaboration with Riken in Yokohama, Japan.

Led by Luis Rafael Herrera-Estrella, the high-profile IGCAST research group examines how plants adapt to thrive in the presence of environmental stresses such as extreme heat and cold, drought and in the presence of brackish water sources. Herrera-Estrella's arrival at Texas Tech was made possible by a $5 million grant from the State of Texas Governor's University Research Initiative and matched by the university to bring the best and brightest researchers to Texas.

GURI was created in 2015 by Gov. Greg Abbott's Office of Economic Development & Tourism and the state legislature to encourage universities to bring the world's top researchers in the areas of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine to Texas. The matching grant program assists institutions of higher learning in Texas with recruiting distinguished researchers, particularly targeting Nobel laureates and members of the National Academy of Sciences, in an effort to further economic and workforce development.


This story was first published in the Davis College NewsCenter. See the original article here.