Jianping Zhang, from China, is a postdoctoral research fellow with Peter Dodds at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO). Her Ph.D. degree resulted from a joint program between the CSIRO rust group and the Plant Breeding Institute (PBI) of The University of Sydney. As a recipient of the Monsanto (now Bayer)’s Beachell-Borlaug International Scholars Program Award, her research interests focus on the wheat rust disease pathogen, including host resistance characterization and isolation, host immune receptor function, disease resistance breeding and molecular assist breeding, germplasm resistance screening, and pathogenicity evolutionary pathways.
The recognition from the Jeanie Borlaug Laube WIT award will help on increasing the awareness and understanding of the importance of the genetic control of wheat rust disease research and extension to sustainable agriculture from the public community. It will also encourage and motivate other female scientists similar to myself who work in STEM to gain more confidence and self-recognise in their career path, as this group normally lacks encouragement and supports in an era of we are still working on improving gender equity globally, especially from the scientific community.