Dr. Kumar Shrestha

Post Doctoral Research Associate
Plant-Insect Interactions

Knowledge is the new rich, arm yourselves with it. -Tom Payne

Postdoc Profile


Kumar Shrestha has a Ph.D. in Plant Science with seven years of experience on advanced molecular lab work and bioinformatics focused on plant biology and immunity. He is an expert in host-pest interaction, experimental design, statistical and computational work.

At Oklahoma State University (OSU), he worked as a Graduate Research Assistant and a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GRA/GTA).  As a GRA, he researched genetic mechanisms underlying sorghum plant resistance to sugarcane aphids (SCA) and CRISPR/Cas9 mediated editing of lignin biosynthesis genes in rice. As GTA he taught lab sections of Plant Biology and General Ecology. 

His technical Skills include:

Molecular Biology: CRISPR/Cas9 vector construction, Overexpression gene construct, Bacterial and Plant transformations, RT-PCR, DNA sequence analysis, and Plant tissue culture, Bioassay
Bioinformatics: Phylogenetics, Genome-wide study, Protein models, RNA-seq analysis, SNPs analysis
Computer skills: Statistical analysis (Rstudio, SAS), Programming language (R, Linux), High-performance computing, and Database (MySQL)


  • Ph.D. in Plant Science, Oklahoma State University - May 2023
  • Bioinformatics Graduate Certificate, Oklahoma State University - December 2022
  • Master of Science in Agriculture, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) - May 2018

Professional Responsibilities and Activities

  • Leadership & Campus Activities:
    1. Feedback provider, Undergraduate Research Symposium, OSU (April 18, 2023)
    2. Judge for poster presentation, Oklahoma State Science and Engineering Fair (March 24-25, 2023)
    3. Judge for poster presentation, 28th Annual Research Symposium, OK-LSAMP (October 14, 2022)
    4. Vice-President and Student Representative for faculty meetings, Botany Graduate Student Organization, PBEE, OSU (2021-2022).
    5. Member, American Society of Plant Biologists (2021-present)
    6. Co-Advisor, Nepalese Student Association, OSU (2020-2021)
    7. President, Nepalese Student Association, OSU (2019-2020)


1. Shrestha, N., Hao, H., Shrestha, K. & Doust, A. (2023). Pearl millet response to drought: A review. Frontiers in Plant Science 14, 1059574. doi:10.3389/fpls.2023.1059574
2. Huang, J.*, Shrestha, K.*, & Huang, Y. (2022). Revealing differential expression of phytohormones in sorghum in response to aphid attack using the metabolomics approach. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 23(22), 13782. doi: 10.3390/ijms232213782
3. Shrestha, K., & Huang, Y. (2022). Genome-wide characterization of sorghum JAZ gene family and their response to phytohormones treatment and aphid infestation. Scientific Reports 12, 3238. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-07181-9
4. Shrestha, K., Pant, S., & Huang, Y. (2021). Genome-wide identification and classification of Lipoxygenase gene family and their roles in sorghum-aphid interaction. Plant Molecular Biology, 1-15. doi: 10.1007/s11103-020-01107-7
5. Kandel, B. P., & Shrestha, K. (2020). Performance evaluation of maize hybrids in inner-plains of Nepal. Heliyon, 6(12), e05542. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2020.e05542

Awards and Honors

Fellowships & Awards

1. Graduate Research/Teaching Assistantship- Aug 2018-present
2. GPSGA Travel Award ($500), OSU- 2023
3. Robberson Summer Dissertation Fellowship, OSU ($6000)- 2022
4. McPherson Travel Award ($1000), Department of Plant Biology Ecology and Evolution (PBEE), OSU- 2021, 2022
5. Mr. International Scholarship Pageant ($500), International Student Organization, OSU- 2018
6. Graduate Research Assistantship, UAPB- 2016-2018