The Center for Biotechnology & Genomics was founded in the year 2000 through the joint efforts of Alcorn State University and USDA-CSREES to help enhance research, extension, and academic programs at ASU. The Center was established through a multidisciplinary collaboration of scientists led by the departments of agriculture. The center is equipped with state-of -the -art equipment used for research, student and faculty training. The Center’s mandate is to conduct basic and applied research, promote excellence in research, teaching, outreach, help train a high-tech workforce to meet the technological needs of the new economy, and promote economic development in the state of Mississippi. The Center seeks to develop new technologies, new products, participate in technology transfer, and enhance economic development in underserved communities in the state of Mississippi. Researchers in the Center apply functional genomics to develop high quality and disease resistant crops including sweet potato. The Center also conducts outreach, including the enhancement of high school teachers and students’ hands-on experience in agricultural biotechnology through summer laboratory workshops. The Center is currently offering a Master’s degree in biotechnology and is developing a biotechnology emphasis area for a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Sciences. These activities complement the vision of the university as a leader in innovative research, academic excellence, and community outreach and are consistent with the land grant mission of research, teaching, and extension.


Victor Njiti, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Ag Biotech Program Leader and Research Coordinator, Plant Breeder, Agronomist

Chunquan Zhang, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Plant Pathologist, Virologist, Molecular Pathologist

Qun Xia, Ph.D.
Research Scientist/Assistant Professor, Developmental Biologist

Yan Meng, Ph.D.
Geneticist, Horticulturist, Molecular Geneticist