Jyoti Shah, Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, is the recipient of the 2013 Competitive Funding Award. Jyoti is a founding member of the Signaling Mechanisms in Plants research cluster and has had uninterrupted funding for the past 13 years by NSF and the US Department of Agriculture. For the 2012-2013 fiscal year, his expenditures totaled over $1.5 million. Dr. Shah's effort as the PI on a Major Research Instrument award from the National Science Foundation contributed to the enhancement of research infrastructure at UNT. Shah's highly cited internationally recognized research on plant immunity has provided important insights on how plants engage their defenses to counter diseases and insect infestation. More recently, Shah and his colleagues at UNT have identified an immunity inducing metabolite that plants utilize to control diseases. They have demonstrated that some of these defense processes can be targeted for promoting sustainable agricultural practices by developing crops that are inherently more resistant to pests.
Shah continuously strives to engage, mentor and support the research activities and professional development of students at UNT, many of whom have won national awards and peer recognition as UNT students. Shah is also actively involved in teaching courses in biology, plant interaction with the environment, and signaling mechanisms in plants. He is an active member of the American Society of Plant Biologists, and the International Society of Plant-Microbe Interactions. Shah is a past finalist for the UNT Competitive Funding Award and a recipient of the Faculty Scholar Award for research, teaching and service at Kansas State University.
The Competitive Funding Award goes to the Principal Investigator who was responsible for the highest total amount of research expenditures on their competitive research funding during the fiscal year. The outstanding faculty who win this award will receive a prize of $5,000 as well as a plaque commemorating the achievement. Dr. Shah was recognized and presented this award at the 2013 Salute to Faculty Excellence Dinner and Ceremony.