Obama honors NIFA-funded plant genomics researcher

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February 19, 2016

NIFA Grantee Receives 2016 Presidential Early Career Award

President Obama Honors Extraordinary Early-Career Scientists

Kenong Xu, assistant professor, Cornell University, and a National Institute of Food and Agriculture grantee, is one of the three USDA researchers who will receive the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers. Renee Arias, National Peanut Research Laboratory, and Matthew Thompson, Rocky Mountain Research Station were also USDA award winners. The awards will be presented this Spring in a Washington, DC ceremony. 

President Obama named 105 researchers as recipients of the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. The Presidential Early Career Awards highlight the key role that the Administration places in encouraging and accelerating American innovation to grow our economy and tackle our greatest challenges. The awards, established by President Clinton in 1996, are coordinated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President. Awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach.

Dr. Kenong Xu

 Xu’s research is on tree fruit genomics in the Department of Horticulture at New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, Cornell University. He developed two educational modules focusing on apple genetics and genomics ─ The apple genome and its importance to New York growers and Genetics of apple fruit acidity. He is currently working on several research projects including NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative grant on Elucidating the Genetic and Molecular Mechanisms of Apple Fruit Acidity. His goal is to discover and characterize apple genes or gene networks controlling traits of horticultural and the economic importance using tools of plant genomics. 

To learn more about the other recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, read over the press release on the White House website.