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Inventor Spotlight

Inventor Spotlight: Christopher Saski

Dr. Chris Saski is a recognized expert in the use of systems-scale approaches to understand the linkages between genome structure and function in crop and weed species. An associate professor in the Department of Plant & Environmental Sciences, and previously the chair of the International Rosaceous Crop Executive Committee (ROSEXEC), Saski has worked to develop and deliver new understandings of genome dynamics and fundamental cell biology that can translate into innovative ways to advance crop breeding, productivity, horticultural traits, and resilience to abiotic/biotic stresses.

Saski received his B.S. in Microbiology from Clemson University and obtained his doctorate, also from Clemson University, in Genetics. Saski joined the Department of Plant & Environmental Sciences at Clemson in the spring of 2018 and brought with him an array of expertise in genomics, genetics, bioinformatics, computational biology, functional genomics, and genome engineering. In addition to his wealth of experience, Saski’s research transcends basic and applied sciences. His continued efforts in understanding the role of genome dynamics and resilience in crop and weed species are opening new doors to delivering healthier foods, more sustainable agriculture, and improved environmental systems that support agriculture.

Over the past few years, Dr. Saski has greatly contributed to the research enterprise at Clemson University.  He discovered a unique genomic mechanism, an extra-chromosomal circular DNA (eccDNA), in Amaranthus palmeri (pigweed) that facilitates gene copy amplification.  This work was published as a BreakThrough Report in the prestigious journal, The Plant Cell, and is currently being developed as a vehicle for beneficial trait engineering in plants under an international patent.

Dr. Saski has also recently received a highly competitive research award from Target, NASA, and CASIS that will be used to conduct cotton research aboard the International Space Station. In addition to his many accolades, Saski is involved in developing and teaching a number of courses and is dedicated to molding the next generation of innovators.

To learn more about Dr. Saski, click here.

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