In Memoriam – Dr. Bob Conger

Bob Conger passed away on October 31, 2022, in Knoxville, Tennessee.  He was born on July 2, 1938, to Vernon and Florence Conger in Greeley, Colorado. Bob grew up on his family’s farm in Pierce, Colorado, and attended Colorado State University where he received a B.S. in Agronomy with Distinction in 1963.  He also received a PhD in Plant Genetics from Washington State University in 1967.  In 1968, he relocated his family to Oak Ridge, Tennessee, for a position with the Comparative Animal Research Lab at Oak Ridge (operated by the University of Tennessee) until 1976 when he transferred to the Plant and Soil Science Department at the University of Tennessee where he conducted forage grass tissue culture and breeding research and taught Plant Genetics and Statistics.  He also became a Full Professor in 1978.  It was at the University of Tennessee where he achieved international recognition for developing the Orchardgrass leaf base somatic embryogenic system which was published in Science (1983).  Under his direction, he had eleven students who completed their Masters of Science degree and five students who completed their Doctor of Philosophy degree.  He also had numerous visiting scholars from various universities in the United States as well as from Bulgaria, Poland, Ukraine, Czech Republic and many other countries.  He retired from the University of Tennessee in 2003.  Bob received numerous honors and awards including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for In Vitro Biology in 2006.  In addition to his tissue culture work, Bob developed a new Orchardgrass cultivar named “Persist” which is now sold throughout the world.  He and his wife, Donna, enjoyed travelling and made it to all seven continents as well as to every U.S. state.  Bob also made it to countless TCA/SIVB meetings, including a few after he retired.  At these meetings, he and Donna would reconnect with his past students and reminisce about all the good times we had together.  Bob is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Donna, three sons, one daughter, eight grandchildren and three sisters.  An upcoming issue of In Vitro Plant will contain a Tribute Paper in remembrance of Dr. Bob V. Conger.

Submitted by David Songstad and Allan Wenck

Dr. Sarbesh Das Dangol

Dr. Sarbesh Das Dangol has recently founded the agricultural biotechnology company, Nhugen Biotech Private Limited in Tahachal, Kathmandu, Nepal, to utilize plant tissue culture business and initiate research and development activities. The newly established company has been registered under the Federal Government of Nepal, and has received approval to initiate business from the Government of Bagmati province and the Local Government of Kathmandu Metropolitan City. Dr. Sarbesh is also leading University Grants Commission Nepal- Entrepreneurship Support Program (UGC-ESP) activity at the Central Department of Biotechnology, Tribhuvan University. Under his active leadership, the department was able to win this project, and the UGC-ESP fund is being invested in training young faculties and students at the department to develop entrepreneurial mindset. UGC-ESP will support the young entrepreneurs with seed fund after the training and aid in boosting the economy of this least-developed nation. Moreover, Dr. Sarbesh is also a research scientist at Nepal Plant Disease and Agro Associates Private Limited in Kathmandu. If you would like to collaborate and are able to support Dr. Sarbesh in any way with his newly established company, Nhugen Biotech Private Limited, contact him at [email protected].

Dr. Alphonse E. Sirica

Dr. Alphonse E. Sirica (Virginia Commonwealth University) is organizing the inaugural 2023 FASEB Scientific Research Conference-The Cholangiocarcinoma Conference: Molecular Drivers, Microenvironment, and Precision Medicine, along with co-organizers Mario Strazzabosco (Yale) and Sumera Ilyas (Mayo Clinic-Rochester, MN). This first-of-its kind scientific conference is being held in Palm Springs, CA on August 13-17, 2023. Please see attached flyer.

Share this page