Professors Gurdev Singh Khush and Vo Tong Xuan among 2023 VinFuture Prize Laureates

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(Photo source: VinFuture)

HANOI, VIETNAM – December 12, 2023 – The 2023 VinFuture Special Prize for Innovators from Developing Countries has honored Indian American Professor Gurdev Singh Khush and Vietnamese Professor Vo Tong Xuan for their significant contributions to the invention and advancement of disease-resistant rice varieties, ensuring global food security.

Led by The VinFuture Foundation, the annual VinFuture Prize is awarded to proven breakthrough scientific research and technological innovations which have high potential to create meaningful change in people’s lives through tangible and highly scalable improvements in areas such as productivity, prosperity, connectivity, health, safety, environment, and sustainability. The VinFuture Prize consists of four prestigious awards presented each year. The most esteemed is the VinFuture Grand Prize, valued at US$3 million, making it one of the largest annual prizes globally. The 2023 VinFuture Prize’s nominations come from respected scientists and organizations from 90 countries and territories across six continents.

Professor Khush was recognized for his pioneering research and development of many groundbreaking rice varieties, such as IR8, IR36, and IR64 which are resistant to numerous pests and diseases and yield quality grains. The development of high-yielding rice varieties has revolutionized rice cultivation worldwide, enabling substantial increases in production while reducing costs and minimizing the reliance on harmful chemicals.

Among these innovations, IR64, a variety developed by Professor Khush and researchers at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), stands out as a remarkable achievement. Its unique combination of intermediate amylose content, soft gel consistency, intermediate gelatinization temperature, translucency, and long slender grains has made it a highly sought-after variety, cultivated in almost all rice-producing countries. Beyond its standalone success, IR64 has also served as a parent strain for thousands of hybrid varieties, demonstrating its versatility and enduring impact on global food…

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