Dr Sri obtained his PhD in Biochemistry from University of Idaho, USA. In 1993, he joined Prof Nam Hai Chua group as a post-doc at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology and later at the Institute of Molecular Agrobiology, Singapore where he headed its Rice Functional Genomics program until 2002. He was subsequently appointed as a Senior Principal Investigator with Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory Ltd (“TLL”) since its inception from 2002 to date. In 2008, he joined JOil as its Chief Technology Officer where he has been instrumental in charting its technology deployment strategy. Dr Sri also teaches at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, as an Adjunct Associate Professor since 2014. Dr Sri also has extensive experience working in China where he led a research group at the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China from 2003 to 2008 and at the Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing from 2007 to 2011. Whilst at the Institute of Botany, he led a team to develop sweet sorghum varieties with higher biomass and sucrose content.
At TLL, his lab focuses on various aspects of plant biotechnology research on improving plant varieties (including Jatropha, rice and leafy vegetables) for higher yield and stress tolerance. His program involves collaborating with biotech companies and conducting trials in various regions including China, India, Indonesia, Thailand and Ghana. He has more than 60 peer-reviewed publications and several patents to his credit.
At JOil, Dr Sri has been spearheading the company’s effort in breeding commercial Jatropha varieties, tissue culture, genetic engineering and commercial trials. Dr Sri is also heading JOil’s African expansion including the establishment of its first commercial scale Jatropha project where he has successfully and sustainably transformed marginal lands into viable Jatropha plantations involving both captive and out grower plantations. In Ghana, Dr Sri interacted directly with village chiefs including paramount chiefs, ministries and government organizations, NGOs and particularly farmers and see first-hand, how sustainable policies can bring about positive change and benefit to communities. In India, Dr Sri supervises its multi-location field trials and commercial seed production. He has been instrumental in JOil India’s collaboration with companies such as Hindustan Petroleum Limited Corporation and Reliance Industries Limited.