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Last update: May 2021

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Carolina Sansaloni

2019 Early Career Awardee

Carolina Sansaloni
Carolina Sansaloni was awarded an IWGSC Early Career Award and received her award at the Plant & Animal Genome Conference (PAG) in San Diego, California (USA) in January 2019. Carolina also received a travel stipend to allowed her to travel to the PAG conference to present a talk during the IWGSC main workshop on Saturday 12 January 2019.

Carolina Sansaloni is from Argentina. Her career started studying genetics at the Universidad Nacional de Misiones, near her hometown. Then, she decided to challenge herself, and motivated by her family, she moved to Brazil to continue with her Master and PhD with Professor Dario Grattapaglia at the Universidade de Brasilia and EMBRAPA (Cenargen). As part of her PhD, she spent one year at the Diversity Arrays Technology Company in Canberra (Australia), under the guidance of Andrzej Kilian. She joined CIMMYT in 2012 as a Post-Doctoral fellow, and currently she is a scientist in the Genetic Resources Program working on genotyping technologies and genomics analyses. In her free time, she enjoys time with her family - husband, Cesar, and three adorable small kids.

Carolina was kind enough to spent some time answering our questions about her award, her research and her plans for the future.

A few words about your work

The challenges posed by climate change and the rapidly growing human population make evident the need to explore and unlock unutilized genetic resources to feeding future generations. In that context, the research I am leading is an analysis of the global diversity for wheat contained in the two largest wheat germplasm banks in the world, CIMMYT and ICARDA. We examine the phylogeny of wheat using next-generation sequence data for > 80,000 wild relatives, synthetic, tetraploid and hexaploid wheats, including elite lines. The analyses revealed large genetic spaces that are virtually unexplored by modern breeding. I also contribute to various projects with strategic significance for wheat pathology, disease resistance, quality and functional genomics and bioinformatics.

Why did you apply for the IWGSC Early Career Award?

I applied for the IWGSC Early Career Award to have an opportunity to show our work in the characterization of wheat genebanks to the international wheat scientific community. This is the largest crop genotyping effort to date, generating resources to underpin the breakthroughs needed to develop the crops of the future. This needed to be shared with the entire scientific community.

In what way do you think being recipient of the IWGSC Early Career Award could help you in your career?

This award is not only for me, but also for all who participated in this project, and will mark my career in many ways. This award encourages me to double efforts to continue my research with the aim of improving people's lives, demonstrating that teamwork has great rewards. This award also validates and encourages my continued, future work, widens the impact that this type of research can have on and through the scientific community, and encourages more collaborators and founders to be part of this enterprise.

What are your career plans?

I would like to continue my career as a scientist at CIMMYT because I am totally aligned with the CIMMYT mission to improve livelihoods through maize and wheat science. I hope that my small contribution can help to face the current and future challenges of food security and climate change.

Sansaloni award

Kellye Eversole and Carolina Sansaloni

More information

Carolina presentation at PAG took place during the IWGSC workshop on Saturday 12 January (8:00 am to 10:10 am, Town and Country room). Her talk was entitled: "Studying Global Wheat Genetic Diversity of Germplasm"