April, 2011—Chandrashekhar Joshi, a professor of plant molecular biology in Michigan Tech’s School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, has been named the winner of the University’s 2011 Research Award.
The annual Research Award recognizes a Michigan Tech faculty member for outstanding achievement in research. The award is based on the impact that the researcher has made toward advancing knowledge or the state of scholarship in his or her field, as evidenced by either a sustained productive scholarly endeavor or a single noteworthy breakthrough.
Joshi’s research focuses on understanding how trees make cellulose. “We have been unraveling the process of cellulose synthesis in trees for over a decade now,” he said. “We hope that one day sustainable, renewable and improved bioenergy and other useful products will result from our research.”
SFRES Dean Peg Gale called Joshi “an excellent scientist, mentor, teacher and scholar. His research is groundbreaking, and he passes his knowledge on to others so that they might someday be greater than him. Shekhar has increased the reputation and visibility of Michigan Tech for quality research through his efforts. He certainly deserves this prestigious award.”
Among those recommending Joshi for the award was Stephen P. DiFazio, an associate professor of biology at West Virginia University. “His work is of fundamental importance in the burgeoning biofuels field, and his expertise is widely respected in the scientific community and beyond,” DiFazio said.
Joshi has contributed to three patents and received more than $6.5 million in research funding over the past three decades, said Professor Laigeng Li of the Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences. “Just as noteworthy as his sustained productivity in the laboratory are his contributions to foster the advancement of knowledge among students from the undergraduate to postgraduate levels,” Li added.
Joshi said: “I am truly humbled and touched by my selection for one of the most prestigious awards at Michigan Tech,” Joshi said. “Michigan Tech is the place where dreams of building a better future really come true. I am grateful to Dean Peg Gale, my students, associates and colleagues at Michigan Tech, and friends and family around the world for inspiration, trust and support over the years.”