Eric Nazareno Awarded MnDRIVE Fellowship

June 1, 2018

Plant Pathology Ph.D. Student Eric NazarenoPh.D. student Eric Nazareno was one of the eight graduate students awarded with the 2018 MnDRIVE Global Food Ventures (GFV) Fellowship. The MnDRIVE GFV initiative intends to promote understanding of food systems and seeks to support and broaden the training of graduate students conducting research in the areas of food systems, safety and security. Selection for the award was based on academic record, research productivity and career alignment with the goals of the initiative. Eric will receive a $28,500 stipend per 12 months, guaranteed participation at World Food Prize events and food production and policy courses, and opportunities to attend other MnDRIVE-sponsored professional development activities.

Eric’s research involves identifying new sources of genetic resistance against crown rust, a widespread disease in oat caused by the fungus Puccinia coronata f. sp. avenae. He uses bi-parental linkage mapping and genome-wide association to locate quantitative trait loci linked to disease resistance in wild and cultivated species of oat. Eric plans to develop an oat line with pyramided resistance and deploy it as breeding germplasm to oat breeders for further improvement. He also intends to contribute in elucidating the molecular interactions of oat and P. coronata f. sp. avenae, to aid in developing better disease management strategies in the future. Eric is co-advised by Melania Figueroa, Assistant Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology and Shahryar Kianian, Research Leader in the USDA-ARS Cereal Disease Laboratory.

For more info on 2018 MnDRIVE awards visit: