CSSP hails Gregorio for PH rice research

The Crop Science Society of the Philippines (CSSP) has awarded and recognized a scientist, research manager, and teacher in national and international public and private institutions as an Honorary Fellow.

The CSSP recognized Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio, currently the Director of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture, for his significant contributions to crop science through his pioneering breeding research.

The award was presented during the 25th Federation of Crop Science Societies of the Philippines (FCSSP) and 1st Federation of Plant Science Associations of the Philippines (FPSAP) Scientific Conference held on September 19 in Davao City.

Holding an annual scientific conference and publishing the Philippine Journal of Crop Science, the CSSP promotes human welfare through the discovery and dissemination of knowledge concerning the nature, utilization, improvement, and interrelationships of plants and their environment and the people.

According to the society, Gregorio was recognized for having led the development of at least 20 rice varieties with tolerance to abiotic stresses while at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) as Senior Plant Breeder.

Gregorio's studies on the genetics and molecular mapping for salinity tolerance, and his development of rapid screening techniques resulted in the first batches of salt-tolerant varieties in the Philippines and other countries in Asia and Africa.

He also led a team that developed iron-enhanced rice, proven to significantly increase levels of total body iron in the blood of women.

A prolific author, Gregorio has 112 scientific publications to date. He has also mentored many undergraduate and graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows in the Philippines and other countries.

In his acceptance speech, Gregorio said receiving such a prestigious award could dissuade one from making mistakes, and thus making one hesitant to explore and trying new and different things more daunting. But he affirmed that it will not be so for him. He still wants to explore and take risks.

"Continue to explore and enjoy; to try and to be ready to fail and learn from it. We tried it; succeed or fail, we always learn. Explore, dare, be different and take risks for the sake of science. But, at the same time, be patient. Perseverance is the key," Gregorio told young crop science professionals.

He added that "there are three types of people who are likely to be great or successful: those who are related to great people, those who are pioneers or the first in doing things, and those who are different. Most of us cannot be the first two, so be different."