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CAHNRS Department of Horticulture Genomics Lab

Faculty and Post Docs

Amit Dhingra, Ph.D.

Amit Dhingra established his research program in Genomics and Biotechnology in the Department of Horticulture at Washington State University in 2006. He gained tenure and promotion to Associate Professor in 2012 and full Professor in 2018. He served as the interim Department Chair from June 1, 2020, to July 3, 2021. He also served as the Chair of the Entrepreneurial Faculty Ambassadors Program, a presidential-level task force.

On September 1, 2021, Amit took on the role of Professor and Head of the Department of Horticultural Sciences at Texas A&M University. He continued as an adjunct professor at Washington State University till December 31, 2023. His new email address is

Amit completed his B.Sc. in Botany (Hons) from Hindu College in 1991, New Delhi, India, and his M.Sc. in Botany (Hons) with a specialization in Cytogenetics and Plant Breeding from Raja Balwant Singh College, Agra, India in 1993. He then completed his Ph.D. at the University of Delhi, India, and Rutgers University, New Jersey supported by fellowships from the University Grants Commission and The Rockefeller Foundation, USA, respectively in 2000. After his post-doctoral training at Rutgers University, the University of Central Florida, and the University of Florida, he joined Washington State University in 2006.

The Dhingra research program investigates important biological processes in plants relevant to the current and future needs of agriculture. The knowledge gained is translated to crop improvement through various approaches. He has trained 17 graduate students and several post-doctoral scientists and over a hundred undergraduate students and in 2017, he was awarded the Council on Undergraduate Research National Biology Mentor award. He has published more than 85 high-impact peer-reviewed journal articles. He serves on the editorial board of four internationally reputed plant science journals and has been awarded three US and five international patents on regulating ripening in fruits to reduce post-harvest wastage. Dr. Dhingra’s research has been featured in the New York Times, The Atlantic, BBC, The Times of London, and several other news outlets. [Research Gate Profile, LinkedIN Profile.]

Amit founded Phytelligence Inc., an agriculture biotechnology spin-off out of his lab. He has recently started his second startup, NuPhY Inc (, which is an agricultural biotechnology company that is revolutionizing the way food crops are grown by developing and commercializing innovative solutions for growers. He serves as the Chief Science Officer of Ag Energy Solutions ( which has developed efficient and carbon-negative biomass processing units that sequester carbon and improve soil health along with producing clean energy. He is also currently involved as a senior scientist with Moolec Science (, a plant-based, alternative protein production start-up.

Additional information about Dr. Dhingra’s research activities at WSU can be obtained at


On the cover of the Rolling Clone Magazine

Credit: Creative musings of an undergraduate student.


Richard M. Sharpe, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor 2020 – present

Post Doc 2015 – 2020

Ph.D. in Molecular Plant Sciences from Washington State University (2014)

MS in Biology, Cell and Molecular Biology option from Middle Tennessee State University (2009)

BS in Biology with a concentration in Genetics and Biology and a minor in Chemistry from Middle Tennessee State University (2006)

Associate of Science degree in Applied Science from Victor Valley College (1989)

Associate degree in Applied Avionics from the Community College of the Air Force (1989)

A link to Richard’s Research Gate profile can be found here.

Rishikesh Ghogare, Ph.D.

Dr. Ghogare joined the lab as a Post Doc in 2017.

Ph.D. in Biological Systems Engineering from Washington State University (2017)

MSc in Biotechnology from the University of East Anglia, UK (2011)

BSc in Biotechnology from University of Pune, India (2009)

Seanna Hewitt, Ph.D.

Seanna Hewitt

Dr. Hewitt joined the lab as a Post Doc in 2020.

Ph.D. in Molecular Plant Sciences from Washington State University (2019)

BS in Biology and BA in Hispanic Studies from Pacific Lutheran University (2014)

Internship with BioBam Bioinformatics, Valencia, Spain (2016)

Matthew Marcec, Ph.D.

Dr. Marcec joined the lab as a Post Doc in 2022

Ph.D. degree in Molecular Plant Sciences from Washington State University (2022)