Open Philanthropy recommended a grant of $122,500 over three years to support work on CRISPR modifications to increase drought tolerance in Indian rice, a project led by Professor Brian Staskawicz at UC Berkeley. It’s Open Philanthropy’s understanding that sporadic drought has caused Indian rice yields to become erratic, which has negative impacts on the livelihood of about 100 million small farmers. The proposed experiments will exploit recent advances in genome editing. The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) plans to match Open Philanthropy’s support, and Open Philanthropy intends for this funding to support the research of PhD student Nicholas Karavolias. A portion of the funding supports Nicholas’s inclusion in the FFAR Fellows Program, a three-year leadership and professional development program for 22 PhD students in the agricultural and life sciences.
This follows Open Philanthropy’s October 2018 support to UC Berkeley and falls within its work on scientific research.
The grant amount was updated in May 2022.