Bhubaneswar: Dr. Ajay Kumar Parida has joined as the new director of Institute of Life Sciences (ILS), Bhubaneswar. He was executive director of MS Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai before joining ILS. 

Dr. Parida, a native of Jajpur district of state, has made notable research contributions in the field of agriculture, plant molecular biology and biotechnology. His pioneering contributions in identifying stress tolerant genes specifically for salinity and drought. His research has contributed to the basic understanding of the genetic architecture and species relationship in mangroves, cereals, legumes and other cultivated crop species.

Dr.Parida was conferred Padma Shri in 2014 for his outstanding contribution in the field of science and engineering.