Rajeev Varshney is Research Program Director for Genetic Gains, at ICRISAT, based in Hyderabad, India. He has a PhD in Agricultural Botany (Molecular Biology) from Chaudhary Charan Singh University, India. He joined ICRISAT in 2005 and in his dual appointment also served the CGIAR Generation Challenge Program (hosted by CIMMYT, Mexico) as its Theme Leader for 6 years. Before joining ICRISAT, Dr Varshney worked at IPK-Gatersleben, Germany for five years.
He is recognized as a leader in genome sequencing, genomics-assisted breeding, translational genomics and capacity building in international agricultural. He has made pioneering contribution by integrating advanced discoveries in genomics with crops improvement especially in legumes in developing countries. Among different noted contributions, he has genome sequence of 10 crops including pigeonpea, chickpea, peanut and pearl millet and several molecular breeding products in chickpea, peanut and pigeonpea to his credit, which have facilitated the release of 177 varieties touching 11.2 million lives in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. High Oliec acid groundnut variety (Girnar 1 and Girnar 2); pigeonpea hybrid ICPH 3762 (released by OUAT, Odisha); ICPH 2740 (released by PJTSAU); First MABC chickpea variety “Geletu” (released in Ethiopia), marker purity testing kits for pigeonpea hybrids are few examples of field level translation of his scientific contributions.
Rajeev, a JC Bose National Fellow, is recipient of the most coveted Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize in Biological Sciences from the Government of India (2015), honored by Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi. For his immense and unparalleled scientific contributions, he has been elected as Fellow by all four science academies of India (INSA, NASI, IASc and NAAS) as well as by several foreign science academies including German National Science Academy, The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), America Association for Advancement of Science, Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), and American Society of Agronomy. In addition, he is recipient of several other prestigious awards including Professor Jayashankar (PJTSAU) Life Time Achievement Award-2019 by PJTSAU for exemplary scientific contributions and research leadership, GD Birla Award for Scientific Research-2019 by KK Birla Foundation, Professor Lalji Singh Achievement Award- 2019 by ADNAT, Outstanding Faculty Research Award- 2018 by Career360, IPGI Award-2017 for leadership & contribution to peanut research, Doreen Margaret Mashler Award-2016, the highest prestigious award by ICRISAT, Research Excellence India Citation Award-2015 by Thomson Reuters, Qilu Friendship Award-2015 by People’s Republic Government of Shandong Province China, Illumina Agricultural Greater Good Initiative Award-2013, Young Crop Scientist Award-2013 by CSSA and Young Scientist Medal/Awards from INSA and NASI.
Thomson Reuters (Clarivate Analytics) have recognized him as highly cited researcher for last 5 years in a row (2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, and 2014). He has published more than 450 high quality research papers/articles across a wide range of journals including Nature, Nature Biotech, Nature Genetics, Nature Communications, PNAS, Genome Biology, etc., having an h-index of 86 and more than 31,000 citations. He provides leadership to several organizations by serving as member/chair for several committees, editorial boards, funding organizations and advisory boards, etc.
Areas of expertise: Applied Genomics, Molecular breeding, Crop biotechnology, Genomics-assisted Breeding, Translational genomics & Capacity Building
Publications in ICRISAT’s OAR: http://oar.icrisat.org/view/creators/Varshney=3AR_K=3A=3A.html
Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.co.in/citations?hl=en&user=Kdmxy8EAAAAJ (Citations =>20,744, H index=68)
Research Gate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Rajeev_Varshney3