Tel: +234 0700800IITA, +1 201 6336094 , Ext. 2703
Nationality: Ethiopian / American
Station: Nigeria (Ibadan)
Melaku Gedil is a Molecular Geneticist. He obtained his first degree (Plant Sciences) in 1985 from the Addis Abeba University, and second degree (Agronomy) in 1993 from the Alemaya University of Agriculture, Ethiopia in plant breeding. His Ph.D. thesis project (Oregon State University USA, 1999) focused on molecular biology (linkage mapping, candidate resistance gene, diversity analysis). Later, he earned an MSc in biotechnology/bioinformatics to enhance his computational skill for application in molecular breeding. His experience encompasses a wide range of state-of-the-art molecular biology lab techniques and bioinformatics. He has a decade of experience in application of molecular markers to improve crops. He hopes to draw on his background in plant breeding, statistical genetics, molecular biology, and bioinformatics as a foundation for studying and applying functional genomics techniques to develop an efficient and effective molecular breeding program mainly for cassava and maize but also for soybean, cowpea, and yam. He is particularly interested in introducing cost-effective and high throughput genotyping techniques that are feasible in developing countries. Dr. Gedil, in collaboration with colleagues, is pursuing various approaches towards this goal including development of molecular markers associated with disease resistance, quality traits, abiotic stress, and other desirable agronomic and specialty traits. Among the approaches are marker-assisted recurrent selection, genome wide association study, genome selection, linkage/QTL mapping, comparative genomics, and functional annotation of genes. In the newly upgraded Bioscience Center at IITA, he leads the establishment of a nascent bioinformatics unit. One of the strategies of the unit is to partner with advanced labs for remote access to high performance computational facilities and cloud computing.