Dr. Channa S. Prakash, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) at Tuskegee University (USA) where he has served on faculty since 1989, is professor of crop genetics, biotechnology. Dr. Prakash’s research expertise is on genetic improvement research on food crops of importance to developing countries. His lab was among the first to develop transgenic sweet potato and peanut plants and conduct pioneering genomic studies on the peanut.
Dr. Prakash has been a global leader in enhancing the societal awareness of crop and food biotechnology issues around the world for nearly three decades. Dr. Prakash was recognized for his outstanding work on agricultural biotechnology outreach with the award of the prestigious 2015 Borlaug CAST Communication Award, by the Council of Agricultural Science and Technology which credited him as “arguably done more than anyone else in academia or industry to promote agricultural technologies that can help feed the world’s growing population.” He was also recognized by Huffington Post as among the Top 30 social influencers in biopharma and biotech. He has an active presence in the social media, with 75,000 followers, generartes an average of ten million impressions per month on Twitter (@agbioworld) & Facebook (/agbioworld), and is globally ranked as top influencer on ‘agricultural biotechnology’ issues. He also serves as Editor-in-Chief of a highly respected journal GM Crops & Food. He has been named one of the ‘Top Personalities Who have made the Most Significant Contribution to Biotech’ by Nature Biotechnology: Who’s who in biotech – Some of biotech’s most remarkable and influential personalities from the past 10 years; ‘one of the 100 Top Living Contributors to Biotechnology’ by The Scientist (chosen by peers via polling); Biotech Food Hero by Crop Life International and named a finalist for the new ‘Foodfluencer’ award by the US Soybean Export Council to be announced in their November 2022 meeting in Dubai.
Dr. Prakash is a leading proponent of science-based agricultural development, especially in the use of molecular techniques including genetically modified cropsa and genome editing. He provides technical, societal and ethical perspectives on the issue through his lectures and writings and on social media. He was instrumental in catalyzing the scientific community in many countries to get involved in public outreach on agbiotech issues. He is a popular speaker and his views and writing have been published in numerous newspapers and magazines. He has delivered nearly 1000 public lectures across 80 countries including venues such as Aspen Ideas Festival, World Food Prize, UN Forum on Sustainable Development, FAO, US Congress, and World Bank. He was invited three times to deliver lectures at the Vatican and was fortunate to have an audience with Pope Francis and explain to him the benefits of Golden Rice. He served as panel manager for the USDA’s biotechnology risk assessment grant program, chaired the minority affairs committee of the American Society for Plant Biology, and served on the USDA Advisory Committee on Agricultural Biotechnology with US Ag Secretaries Dan Glickman and Ann Veneman.