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Intellect

BYU plant genetics student receives national scholarship

Marcus Soliai, a Brigham Young University senior in genetics and biotechnology, has received the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship worth $4,000.

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs and is administered by the Institute of International Education.

Soliai has worked for two years as a research assistant for Eric N. Jellen, an associate professor in the Department of Plant and Animal Sciences, who researches chromosomal genetics and genetic resource conservation and utilization in quinoa and oat. Soliai will use his grant to continue research at the University of Arturo Prat in Iquique, Chile.

“I’m happy to receive this grant to help me receive more research experience,” Soliai said, “especially because those who benefit from our research are the people who grow quinoa as their main crop.”

The native people of the Andes have been cultivating quinoa, called the “mother grain” by ancient Incas, since at least 3,000 B.C. With a nearly perfect balance of essential amino acids, quinoa is high in protein, calcium and iron.

For more information, contact Marcus Soliai at (808) 387-2589.

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