Associate Prof. Karthik Aghoram to Deliver 2016 Faculty Distinguished Lecture

Associate Professor of Biological Sciences Karthik Aghoram will deliver the 2016 Faculty Distinguished Lecture on Tuesday, March 15, at 7 p.m. in Jones Auditorium. His topic is “Less Land. More Food. No Fights, a harmonious and scientific approach to sustainable food production.”

Aghoram has been a member of the Meredith College faculty since 2005. His areas of research include Cell Biology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with an emphasis on plants. His laboratory research is focused on two major projects: (1) Identification and characterization of drought-response genes in plants. The overall goal of research in this area is to discover genes that are turned or off in a plant in response to water-deficit, and use this information to breed crop plants with improved water-use efficiency. (2) Identification of plant natural products that inhibit the enzyme HIV protease. The overall goal of this research is to discover natural products that have potential as anti-HIV treatments.  He has authored several peer-reviewed research articles, and he and his students have presented papers based on these projects at state and regional conferences.

Aghoram’s interests extend into the science communication, especially on the role of modern crop-breeding techniques such as genetic engineering as part of a responsible and sustainable crop production system. As part of this communication and outreach effort, he teaches an agricultural biotechnology workshop for high school teachers. He has also published articles related to this topic in popular media.

As the chair of the Meredith Health Professions Advising office, Aghoram advises and consults with all students who are interested in pursuing a career in health care. He serves as the President of HPANC, the Health Professions Advisors Association of North Carolina and was also elected to the Board of Directors for SAAHP, Southeastern Association for Advisors of Health Professions. He is also interested in the scholarship of advising for pre-health students, and has presented and co-authored publications in this area.

Aghoram holds B.Sc. and M.Sc degrees from Bangalore University in India. He earned a Ph.D., in Biological Sciences from Florida State University and completed his post-doctoral training in Crop Science at North Carolina State University.

The Faculty Distinguished Lecture was designed to represent a significant achievement of research by a faculty member. The first lecture was presented in 1964 by Professor of English Norma Rose.

For Meredith students, the lecture counts as an Academic/Cultural Event for General Education credit. The Faculty Distinguished Lecture is free and open to the public. This event is sponsored by Meredith’s convocation committee.

Learn more about Meredith's program in biological sciences

Melyssa Allen

News Director
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