Dr. Leena Tripathi

Dr. Leena Tripathi was elected as an AAS Fellow in 2022. As a fellow, Dr. Leena Tripathi contributes to the development of the Academy’s strategic direction through participation in AAS activities and governance structures. . This gears the Academys vision of transforming african lives through science.

Year elected

Dr. Leena Tripathi is the Director of Eastern Africa Hub and leads the Biotechnology Program at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), a member of One CGIAR. With over 26 years in plant biotechnology, her focus lies in enhancing staple crops like banana/plantain, cassava, and yam to resist diseases and pests, crucial for global food security. She champions a "Science to Practice" approach, ensuring her research translates into practical solutions worldwide. Her scientific contributions have been recognized internationally through several awards and honors, such as an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and an elected Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS).

Dr. Tripathi and her team have established a robust genetic transformation platform at IITA-Kenya to develop transgenic and gene-edited products and transfer these technologies to national agricultural research systems in sub-Saharan Africa. She collaborates globally with advanced labs in the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, and Australia, as well as with national partners in Africa and various regional partners. Beyond her role at IITA, Dr. Tripathi contributes to academia as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Queensland, Australia, and plays advisory roles as a member of the external advisory panel of Norwich Institute for Sustainable Development, UK, and advisory board member of Cornell Alliance for Science (AfS). She serves on the editorial boards of esteemed journals such as Plant Biotechnology Journal, Communication Biology, Frontiers in Genome Editing, Scientific Reports, and Plant Cell Reports. 

Dr. Tripathi holds a Ph.D. in Botany (Plant Molecular Biology) and an M.Sc. in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. She worked at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA before joining IITA. Her multidisciplinary efforts underscore her dedication to advancing agricultural biotechnology, which is crucial for addressing global food security challenges.