Two Indian women scientists get Doreen Margaret Mashler Award

Dr Mamta Sharma and Dr Pooja Bhatnagar-Mathur are joint recipients of the Doreen Margaret Mashler Award for 2018, for significant work in their respective research fields of plant pathology and biotechnology at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) here.

Mamta specialises in epidemiology of plant diseases and pathogens, focusing on disease-resistant breeding in chickpea and pigeonpea, two of ICRISAT’s mandate crops.

In 2017, she led the team that developed the Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) method to identify a pathogen affecting chickpea and over 500 crops globally.

Pooja led an international, multi-institutional effort for innovative biotechnology solutions to combat aflatoxin in groundnut using a 'double-defense' approach. This breakthrough resulted in resistance to fungal infection, as well as remarkably low levels of aflatoxin contamination.

Speaking about the award Mamta said, "The next few decades will see cutting edge technologies in science for huge opportunities in India. If youngsters pursue a career in science with focus, perseverance and planning, they can become leaders of innovation and address the unmet needs of the country".

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