Dr. Uma Rao

Senior Technical Advisor(Engrave BioLabs)

I have worked as Head & Principal Scientist and Project Coordinator of All India Coordinated project on Nematodes of ICAR, in the Division of Nematology, and School Coordinator for School of Crop Protection at ICAR-IARI, New Delhi. Presently, I am supporting a startup called Engrave Biolabs Pvt Ltd in the capacity of Senior Scientific Adviser. I have a basic degree in BSc Horticulture and MSc (Agriculture) in Plant Pathology from University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore followed by Ph. D in Nematology from ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi. I have joined Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) as an ARS Scientist in 1989 and joined the Division of Nematology in 1990 and superannuated on 31 March 2022. I have post-doctoral training in Molecular Nematology from Univ. of North Carolina, UAS and Univ of Leeds, UK. About 40 years of experience in various aspects of applied and basic research in Plant Nemaology with research focus on nematode and fungal genetic diversity, nematode genomics and functional genomics for identifying potential nematode genes as targets for designing nematode resistant crops. Extensively worked on RNAi gene silencing and developed several nematode resistant transgenic brinjal, rice, wheat, tobacco, pigeonpea to silence the nematode and insect genes. I have developed transgenic brinjal lines using cysteine protease inhibitor gene and a peptide that interferes with the host finding ability of nematodes. I had active collaborators from several national and international institutes I have guided many post graduate students and published more than 130 research papers in peer reviewed national and international journals.