Peking-Yale Center Receives Gift from Monsanto for Plant Biology Research Fellowships

The Peking-Yale Joint Center for Plant Molecular Genetics and Agrobiotechnology has received a gift from Monsanto Company that will support postdoctoral and graduate research at Yale University in the United States and Peking University in China.

The gift establishes the Monsanto Fellowship Award, which will provide $50,000 per year for five years to visiting graduate or postdoctoral students to perform research with the Center. In addition, Monsanto has provided $400,000 in scientific equipment for use in plant genomics and agrobiotechnology at both universities.

Yale University President Richard C. Levin said, “Under the leadership of Yale Professor and Director Xing Wang Deng, the Center serves as a pioneering model of global scientific partnership in the field of plant genomics and modern agribiotechnology. A committed faculty from both universities, and an international scientific advisory board, is helping to develop global understanding of this important field. We are deeply grateful to Monsanto for their generous support of our scholars.”

Acknowledging Monsanto’s gift, Peking University President, Professor Zhihong Xu, said, “The Peking-Yale Joint Center for Plant Molecular Genetics and Agrobiotechnology will be a step closer to becoming a major international research center and a driving force for agrobiotechnology in China and beyond.”

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to support the Peking-Yale Joint Center. Agricultural biotechnology has delivered amazing benefits to farmers, consumers and the environment and continued research will realize even greater potential in the future. I’m excited that Monsanto is able to contribute to the biotech discovery and development work at the Peking-Yale Joint Center,” said Robert T. Fraley, Monsanto’s executive vice president and chief technology officer.

The Peking-Yale Joint Center, which was established in the fall of 2000, strives to advance basic research and technology development in the area of crop improvement through a multidisciplinary research program in plant biology. Peking University and Yale University have made a commitment to engage in collaborative research, student exchanges and other scholarly activities aimed at revealing new findings in plant molecular genetics and agrobiotechnology.

A world-class research facility, the Center will actively foster collaborative studies among scientists through a multidisciplinary research program in plant biology and will help train the next generation of international leaders in the field. The goal of this collaboration is to advance basic research and technology development in the area of crop improvement. This area is of great interest and critical importance to both China and the United States. The Center provides opportunities in many areas including manipulation of the plant genome leading to an understanding of the mechanisms and regulation of plant defenses, hormonal regulation, and bioengineering of plant shape and size.

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