Global Food Security

Research Overview

Get Yams Into Farmers Hands: USAID grant translates TIB research to Nigeria

While presenting the Temporary Immersion Bioreactor (TIB) work at an annual Society for In Vitro Biology (SIVB) conference, Morufat Balogun, lecturer at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria, approached Dr. Curtis to discuss a collaboration. Out of that, an opportunity with a USAID (United States Agency for International Development) grant was born, aimed at implementing TIBs in Dr. Balogun's home university for the growth of yams, for which the latin genus is Dioscorea. The Dioscorea genus is an integral part of the diet of 300 million people worldwide daily (see video).

Gates Foundation-sponsored NSF BREAD program spurns CurtisLab's crop enhancement efforts

Building on the momentum of the USAID grant and CurtisLab's work in T. cacao using embryogenic proteins, CurtisLab began work on the Gates Foundation-sponsored NSF BREAD grant aimed directly at "Getting Yams into Farmer's Hands". Penn State highlighted the project with its Fall/Winter 2016 e-newsletter HERE. The key goals of the project are as follows:

  • Enhance somatic embryogenesis in yam using embryogenic proteins

  • Simplify the design of the Temporary Immersion Bioreactor (TIB) for cost and manual operation

  • Demonstrate the TIB technology in enhancing growth of yam that is virus and insect free

  • Disseminate and share research information

Meet the Food Security Team

  • Sydney Shaw

  • Matt Curtis

  • Sergio Flores

  • Morgan Shires

  • April Hile

  • Aisa Sam

  • Marena Traugre

  • Chelsea Berry

  • Eva Mei Shouse

  • Nate Hamaker

  • Rachel Erwin

  • Mez Essajee

  • and many more!