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2019 Cotton Biotechnology Award Recipient – Dr. Baohong Zhang

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Cary, North Carolina

Dr. Baohong Zhang of East Carolina University was selected as recipient of the 2019 Cotton Biotechnology Award. The award announcement was made at the 2020 Plant & Animal Genome Conference in San Diego.

Dr. Zhang has made unique and significant contributions to cotton biotechnology using genome editing and small regulatory RNAs. He was the first United States based researcher to publish on research that knocked out an endogenous gene in cotton using CRISPR/Cas 9 technology. Dr. Zhang used two molecular biology tools, CRISPR and VIGS, to develop a rapid method for studying gene function in cotton. His research will open a new paradigm for cotton improvement. Because of these contributions, he received the East Carolina University Lifetime Achievement for Research & Creative Activity Award in 2019 and the ICAC Cotton Researcher of the Year Award in 2018. He was also elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement the same year.

The Cotton Biotechnology Award, endowed by a gift from Dr. Norma Trolinder in 2000, has been presented on seven previous occasions. The recipient receives a monetary award and a plaque. It is presented to a scientist or group of scientists for outstanding biotechnology research in cotton and is administered by the Agricultural and Environmental Research Department at Cotton Incorporated.

Cotton Incorporated, funded by U.S. growers of upland cotton and importers of cotton and cotton textile products, is the research and marketing company representing upland cotton. The program is designed and operated to improve the demand for and profitability of cotton.