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Department of Plant Sciences

Image of Anoop Tripathi and Daniel Ginzburg
The Gates Cambridge Class of 2022 made up of 79 outstanding new scholars has been officially announced and we are delighted that two of these scholars are members of the Department of Plant Sciences, Anoop Tripathi (Molecular Physiology Group) and Daniel Ginzburg (Circadian Signal Transduction Group).
Both Anoop's and Daniel's research will be investigating ways to improve crop production and global food security. 
Anoop will be focusing on understanding the evolution of photosynthesis, which is useful to plant breeders for varietal trait development. Currently working as a Senior Research Laboratory Technician in Julian Hibberd's Lab, Anoop was part of a collaborative research project at Cambridge, which identified that monocots graft at the root-shoot interface, this pivotal work overturned the long-standing consensus that monocots cannot graft. He is also working on translational impact of the grafting approach using perennial monocots, which will be useful in imparting disease resistance in economically relevant crops like banana and oil palms. Anoop's PhD will aim to integrate the most efficient version of photosynthesis, known as the C4 pathway in rice, using the newly developed technique of cereal grafting and hybridisation. Rice is a global food staple and converting rice to use C4 photosynthesis is expected to not only increase yields by 50% but will also enhance water and nitrogen use efficiency. 
Daniel's research within Alex Webb's Lab will focus on exploring how plants anticipate and adapt to environmental fluctuations. Insights gained from this research will support continued efforts to breed more efficient, productive, and sustainable crops. As an undergraduate at Northwestern University, Daniel studied Earth sciences to better understand the fundamental processes underpinning the natural environment and how modern society has pushed those processes to the brink of collapse with one of the greatest sources of unsustainable natural resource consumption being modern agriculture. As a master's student at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem he researched how light quality influences plant growth and resilience to stress. As a natural progression, he then moved into commercial greenhouse hydroponics where he worked to optimize environmental conditions most suitable for crop growth. Following this Daniel returned to more academic pursuits at the Carnegie Institution for Science, where he continued to investigate how plants respond to environmental stress. 
The Gates Cambridge scholarship programme is the University of Cambridge’s flagship international postgraduate scholarship programme.
It was established through a US$210 million donation to the University of Cambridge from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000; this remains the largest single donation to a UK university. Since the first class in 2001, Gates Cambridge has awarded 2,081 scholarships to scholars from 111 countries who represent more than 600 universities globally, and more than 80 academic departments and all 31 Colleges at Cambridge.
This year 79 new Gates Cambridge Scholars, from 30 countries and comprising of 41 women and 38 men will join the community when they start their studies in the autumn. In addition to generous funding to do their research, with no age limit on candidates, they will benefit from the strong sense of community and identity that has been forged by their predecessors and an absolute commitment to improving the lives of others.
*A list of the class of 2022 can be found on the Gates Cambridge’s Directory page and a feature story on the announcement can be found on the University of Cambridge website.
Copy provided by Luisa Clark (Programme Manager) and Mandy Garner (Communications Officer) at the Gates Cambridge Trust. Additional information on individuals from the Gates Cambridge website.