Speaker Bio


Sadanand Dhekney

Sadanand Dhekney

Assoc. Prof. of Plant Breeding and Biotechnology, University of Maryland Eastern Shore

Dr. Sadanand Dhekney is an Associate Professor of Plant Breeding and Biotechnology at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES). He received a Ph.D. in Horticultural Sciences from the University of Florida (UF), which was also followed by post-doctoral research at UF. Dr. Dhekney was Assistant and Associate Professor at the University of Wyoming before joining UMES. Dr. Dhekney has worked on wine and table grape improvement using techniques in breeding and biotechnology for the past 17 years. His current research focuses on identification of genetic elements and genes of interest from the grapevine genome for improving traits using genome editing. Dr. Dhekney is also the coordinator for the UMES industrial hemp program. His research in this area is focused on screening Cannabis sativa varieties to identify those that will perform well in Maryland, using plant tissue culture for eliminating viruses, fungal and bacterial pathogens, and developing genetic transformation protocols for hemp genome editing. Dr. Dhekney is also actively involved in teaching courses in plant biotechnology and horticulture, and training students in hemp production and processing. He hosts several undergraduate and graduate students in his research program each year. Dr. Dhekney has published more than 50 research publications and book chapters, and secured more than $2 million in research funding over the course of his career. He has received the 2013 Young Scientist Award from the Society for In Vitro Biology, the 2016 Early Career Research Achievement Award from the University of Wyoming and the 2017 Excellence in Research and Teaching Award from the National Agricultural Honor Society, Gamma Sigma Delta.