Dr. Michael Gore, noted scientist and professor in Cornell University’s School of Integrative Plant Science (SIPS), is the 2022 Cotton Genetics Research Award recipient.
The announcement was made during the 2023 Beltwide Cotton Improvement Conference, which convened as part of the National Cotton Council-coordinated 2023 Beltwide Cotton Conferences in New Orleans. Gore, who was selected by the Joint Cotton Breeding Committee, received a plaque and a monetary award.
SIPS Director Dr. Jocelyn Rose, one of Dr. Gore’s nominators, said his ground-breaking cotton genetics research has had a lasting impact on the cotton breeding and genetics community and beyond. She said that he has an innate passion for genetically improving crops through the large-scale identification of causal genes and the development of predictive models that are now being collaboratively used by breeders to accelerate the breeding process.
Specific to cotton, Dr. Rose said Dr. Gore’s research supported efforts to transfer the superior fiber traits of Pima cotton to higher yielding upland cotton. She noted that among other achievements, he has helped reveal the levels and patterns of genetic diversity for several cotton species and “his work has helped breeders on how to best find and utilize allelic diversity to increase the resiliency of cotton to changing weather patterns and rapidly evolving pests and pathogens.”
Another nominator, Dr. Jonathan Wendel, a professor in Iowa State’s Department of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology, said Dr. Gore is “a remarkably productive, versatile, and accomplished scientist” who has been awarded more than $9.3 million in grant funding and his research accomplishments reported in 143 peer-reviewed articles. He said Dr. Gore, in fact, has averaged an astonishing 10 peer-reviewed publications per year in predominantly high impact journals since completing his Ph.D. in 2009. Dr. Gore, a member of multiple scientific and professional societies, currently serves as editor of The Plant Phenome Journal.
Dr. Gore has received numerous awards throughout his career among them being recently named a Fellow by the Crop Science Society of America.
Dr. Gore earned his bachelor’s degree in Plant Breeding from Cornell and his master’s and his Ph.D. in Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences from Virginia Tech. He was a researcher for Rohm and Hass, Pioneer Hi-Bred International and Lancaster Labs before joining USDA’s Agricultural Research Service as a research geneticist in Arizona in 2009. In 2013 he joined Cornell in SIPS’ Plant Breeding and Genetics Section as an associate professor later becoming a professor and then chair of that section.
The annual Cotton Genetics Research Award was established in 1961 by U.S. commercial cotton breeders to recognize and encourage basic research in cotton genetics, cytogenetics and breeding. It is administered by the Joint Cotton Breeding Committee consisting of representatives of the NCC, the USDA, state experiment stations, Cotton Incorporated and commercial breeders.