IITA Scientist Elected To Prestigious Global Science Body

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Leena Tripathi, a Principal Scientist with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the Deputy Director of IITA’s Eastern Africa hub has been elected as a fellow to the prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
Tripathi received this recognition because of her distinguished contribution to developing robust genetic transformation platforms for banana/plantain, cassava, enset, and yam and the application of genome editing technologies for banana/plantain and yam. Tripathi and her team in Nairobi, Kenya, are currently working on banana resistance to bacterial wilt and banana streak virus (BSV) using CRISPR, a genome editing tool.

The letter relaying the news read, “On behalf of the Council of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, I am very pleased to inform you of your election to the rank of AAAS Fellow. Each year the Council elects members whose efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications are scientifically or socially distinguished.”

Becoming an AAAS Fellow is a lifetime honor, which comes with an expectation that the recipient maintain the highest standards of professional ethics and scientific integrity.

This year, 442 other members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) were awarded the distinction of Fellow. New Fellows will be presented with an official certificate and a gold and blue (representing science and engineering, respectively) rosette on 15 February, at the AAAS Fellows Forum during the 2020 AAAS Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington, USA.

The tradition of AAAS Fellows began in 1874. Currently members can be considered for the rank of Fellow if nominated by the steering group of their respective sections by three Fellows, or by the Association’s Chief Executive Officer. Each steering group then reviews the nominations of individuals within its respective section and forwards a final list to the AAAS Council.

AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science, as well as Science Translational Medicine; Science Signaling; a digital, open-access journal, Science Advances; Science Immunology; and Science Robotics. AAAS was founded in 1848. Read the full story on the new fellows here.

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