Dr. Leena Tripathi

Plant Biotechnologist

    Dr. Leena Tripathi is a Plant Biotechnologist with experience in the genetic improvement of important
    staple food crops to control diseases and pests. She is the Director for Eastern Africa and Leader of the
    Biotechnology research group at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). She also
    provides science leadership as a faculty member of various institutions, such as Adjunct Professor at
    the University of Queensland, Australia and Faculty member of BecA/ILRI hub, and Support Leader
    for the CGIAR Research Program Root, Tubers and Banana (CRP-RTB). She is serving as Editorial
    Board Member for Plant Biotechnology Journal, Communication Biology, Frontiers in Genome
    Editing, Scientific Reports, and Plant Cell Reports. Besides, she is also an active member of many
    scientific societies and serving as a GMO expert. Her scientific contributions have been recognized
    internationally through several awards and honors, such as excellence awards for outstanding scientist
    and publications. She has been honored as an elected fellow of the American Association for the
    Advancement of Science (AAAS) for contributions to Agriculture.
    After obtaining a Ph.D. in Plant Molecular Biology, she began her career as a Research Scientist at the
    University of North Carolina, USA. After that, she has worked for over 21 years at IITA in Nigeria,
    Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania. She has been promoted through the ranks to her current position as the
    Eastern Africa Hub Director. Her team has successfully established a robust genetic transformation
    platform for the banana and yam at IITA to develop genetically modified and genome-edited products
    and transfer these technologies to national agricultural research systems in Africa and beyond. Her
    group's research outputs have been published in about 100 articles in refereed journals with high impact
    factors like Nature Biotechnology or book chapters. Her research has been featured in more than 200
    national and international news articles and documentary films like CNN- Earth's Frontiers and Food
    Evolution.