Associate Director, World Technology Access Program (WorldTAP)
Assistant Professor and Plant Breeder for International Programs
B.Sc, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Botany, 1998
Ph.D., Michigan State University, Genetics and Plant Breeding and Genetics, 2005
Cholani Weebadde is an Assistant Professor with the Department of Horticulture and Institute of International Agriculture (IIA) at Michigan State University. She also serves as the Associate Director of the World Technology Access Program (WorldTAP). She received her Ph.D. degree with a dual major in Genetics and the Plant Breeding and Genetics programs of Michigan State University in 2005. Dr. Weebadde is actively involved in biotechnology capacity building programs and is a member of the Biosafety Team at MSU for the African Biosafety Network of Expertise (ABNE) Project and earlier for the USAID Program for Biosafety Systems (PBS) and played a key role in the biosafety training of trainer (ToT) program and the one year certificate program in biosafety at MSU. She has also actively participated in biotechnology and biosafety capacity building programs with several countries including Indonesia, Egypt, Ghana, India, Mali, Philippines, Senegal, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Uganda. She currently serves as the Thematic team leader for Biotechnology in the South Asia Partnership initiative at MSU.
In collaboration with the Plant Biotechnology Resource and Outreach Center (PBROC) and the Plant Breeding, Genetics and Biotechnology program at MSU, she established and coordinates an annual International Short Course in Molecular Plant Breeding. This program has also been offered overseas. In addition, she coordinates and manages two other annual short courses of WorldTAP: Environmantal Biosafety and Biotechnology. Dr. Weebadde initiated the MSU-Sri Lanka Partnership Program at MSU that has created a platform for collaborative projects and professional exchange programs with the country. Her collaborative research efforts with Sri Lanka include improvement of Cowpea and Rice varieties using traditional and molecular plant breeding approaches. Dr. Weebadde also serves as the Extension Team Lead for RosBREED, a project that is enabling molecular marker assisted breeding in rosaceous crops (www.rosbreed.org).