Puspa Raj Poudel

Cornell University Project Title: Taking the Sour Out of Sour Grapes – Developing Metabolic Markers for High Acidity in Disease-Resistant Grape Varieties

I am from Madhyanepal Municipality-1, Lamjung, Gandaki Province. I completed Ph.D. in Agriculture (Horticulture) from United Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences, Ehime University, Japan. After completion of PhD degree, I did two years post-doctoral study in grape genetics and breeding from National Research Institute of Brewing, Hiroshima, Japan with the competitive grant support from Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). I also got opportunity to work as JSPS Bridge fellow in the same institution. Currently, I am working with the Tribhuvan University, Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science, Paklihawa Campus as an Assistant Professor (Horticulture) and Assistant Campus Chief. I also served as Head of  Department of the Department of Horticulture and Plant Protection for three years. I have been involved in several professional and alumni networks. I am also serving as an Editor of couple of academic journals and potential reviewer of several reputed international journals. I have participated more than a dozen of national and international seminars to present my research findings. I have published about one and a half dozens of scientific articles in internationally reputed journals.  

Along with the excellent reputation of the Fulbright Fellowship, I regard this program as a moment to learn American culture and educational system. The fellowship program would support in my present job and reinforce my studies in the days to come. My current research proposes to develop phenotypic markers in grape seedlings that predict high malate in fruit. These markers will expedite the grape breeding process by removing unpromising crosses that are expected to have high sourness. The methodologies used in this study will assist in the rapid development of new grape cultivars for my country using indigenous grape genotypes. Besides, the current study will help me to learn state-of-the-art approaches at the intersection of metabolomics and fruit breeding.