Rajeev Varshney is Research Program Director- Genetic Gains, at ICRISAT, based in Hyderabad, India. He has a Ph.D. in Agricultural Botany (Molecular Biology) from CCS University, India. He joined ICRISAT in 2005 and in his dual appointment also served the CGIAR Generation Challenge Program (hosted by CIMMYT, Mexico) as SubProgramme Leader 2, for 6 years. Before joining ICRISAT, Rajeev worked at IPK-Gatersleben, Germany for 5 years. He holds Adjunct/ Honorary position with >10 organizations, and provides leadership to several organizations by serving as member/chair for several committees, editorial boards, funding organizations and advisory boards, etc.
Rajeev is recognized as a leader in genome sequencing, genomics-assisted breeding, translational genomics and capacity building in international agriculture. He has made a pioneering contribution by integrating advanced discoveries in genomics with crop improvement especially in legumes in developing countries. Among different noted contributions, he has genome sequence of 10 crops including pigeonpea, chickpea, groundnut and pearl millet and several molecular breeding products in chickpea and groundnut to his credit. Genomics resources developed by his colleagues and collaborators are being used in several breeding programs with an objective to modernizing crop improvement in developing countries. He has provided strategic leadership, as a Principal Investigator, to Tropical Legumes projects, that have facilitated the release of 266 improved legumes varieties and production of about 498,034 tons of certified seeds with the benefit potential to over 5.0 million ha and over 25 million smallholder farmers in 15 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
Rajeev, a JC Bose National Fellow, is a recipient of the most coveted Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize (honored by Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi), and ICAR-India’s highest and most prestigious Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Award- 2019 from the Government of India. He is an elected fellow of all four national science and agriculture academies of India (INSA, NASI, IASc and NAAS) as well as of several foreign science academies including the German National Science Academy, The World Academy of Sciences, America Association for Advancement of Science, Crop Science Society of America, and American Society of Agronomy. He is a recipient of several prestigious awards including Professor Jayashankar Life Time Achievement Award-2019, GD Birla Award for Scientific Research-2019, Professor Lalji Singh Achievement Award- 2019, Career360 Outstanding Faculty Research Award- 2018, China’s Qilu Friendship Award-2015, Illumina Agricultural Greater Good Initiative Award-2013, etc.
Rajeev, a highly prolific author, has published more than 450 high-quality research papers/articles including 15 papers in Nature journals and has h-index of 100 with more than 40,150 citations (as of January 2021). Thomson Reuters (Clarivate Analytics) has recognized him as a highly cited researcher for the last 7 years in a row (2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, and 2014) and honored him with Research Excellence India Citation Award-2015.
Areas of expertise: Applied Genomics, Molecular breeding, Crop biotechnology, Genomics-assisted Breeding, Translational genomics & Capacity Building
Research Gate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Rajeev_Varshney3