Dr. Ramesh Sonti obtained his BSc and MSc degrees from the Andhra University and University of Hyderabad, respectively. His Ph.D. was in the area of bacterial genetics from the University of Utah, USA. He did his post-doctoral research in plant genetics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. Since 1993, he has worked at the CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad where he was a Chief Scientist and Group Leader before joining as Director, NIPGR. His research interests are in understanding the mechanisms that underlie the processes of attack and defense in plant-pathogen interactions using the interaction between rice and the bacterial pathogen, Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae as a model system. He is also keenly interested in the application of marker assisted selection in rice improvement particularly with regard to enhancing biotic stress tolerance and increasing yield.
Dr. Ramesh Sonti is a recipient of the Shanthi Swarup Bhatnagar Prize in Biological Sciences and the National Bioscience Award. He is a recipient of the J. C. Bose fellowship. He is an elected fellow of the following: Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi; National Academy of Sciences, Allahabad; Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore; National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, New Delhi. He is a fellow of the Telangana Akademi of Sciences, Hyderabad.
Dr. Sonti and his group have collaborated with scientists at the Indian Institute of Rice Research, Hyderabad to jointly develop and popularize Improved Samba Mahsuri, a bacterial disease resistant rice variety. This inter-institutional team has received the CSIR AWARD FOR S&T INNOVATIONS FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT (CAIRD)-2014 and the BIOTECH PRODUCT PROCESS DEVELOPMENT AND COMMERCIALIZATION AWARD-2016 by Department of Biotechnology, Government of India.