University's newly endowed chair in wheat research awarded to its namesake
Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013
MANHATTAN -- Bikram Gill, university distinguished professor of plant pathology and director of the Wheat Genetics Research Center at Kansas State University, has been awarded the endowed chair established in his honor.
The Bikram S. Gill Chair in Wheat Genetics was established through gifts from private industries, friends and colleagues. Gill's career and life's work has been worldwide wheat genetic improvement and distributing its genetic value to the world.
"Bikram Gill is the world's foremost expert on wheat genetics and genomics," said John Floros, dean of the College of Agriculture and director of K-State Research and Extension. "He has had an impact on modern wheat production, not only as a crop in the United States, but as a staple source of cereal-based calories for the entire planet. Through his leadership, the contributions of the Wheat Genetic Resource Center has likely impacted every key wheat-breeding program in the U.S. and worldwide. He has done so much to help the world."
"I am deeply moved. This is a great honor," Gill said. "I have spent 33 years building up the Wheat Genetic Resource Center and this endowment will ensure that legacy. This is a step forward in the continued development of wheat genetics. I'm very thankful for this gift."
Gill will hold this chair for the next five years during his phased retirement. After that, it will be used to recruit his successor.
"This endowed chair will help us attract and retain the brightest minds and the world's foremost experts in wheat genetics to Kansas State University," Floros said. "Research performed under the chair will address challenges facing one of the most important crops in the world, elevate the visibility and reputation of the Wheat Genetics Resource Center worldwide, and make our plant sciences program one of the best. It will help us with educating the next generation of wheat scientists, improving agriculture in Kansas, and feeding people everywhere."
Philanthropic contributions to the university are coordinated by the Kansas State University Foundation. The foundation staff works with university partners to build lifelong relationships with alumni, friends, faculty, staff and students through involvement and investment in the university.