Mwaura Livingstone Nganga
PhD, Plant Biology, UC Davis
Mwaura Livingstone Nganga’s persistence to achieve great success in uncharted territories has propelled his academic and professional career to soaring heights. Choosing to clear his own path to success, Nganga designed his own PhD project studying haploid induction (HI) in potatoes. No one had ever attempted to identify potato HI genes due to the sheer amount of work and high risk of failure expected. Thorough literature studies reduced that risk giving him the confidence to apply for the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship and be awarded $150,000 for three years to pursue this endeavor.
Nganga’s pioneering research at UC Davis, under the direction of Dr. Luca Comai, has been so successful that NSF has awarded the Comai Lab an additional $1.4M to advance the potato HI study. Nganga is passionate about pursuing a career that allows him to improve the world’s economic development through technical innovations and plans to gain the skill necessary to run a global company with multi-billion-dollar revenue potential. Nganga was born in a small rural town called Kabete in Kenya. He strongly believes that innovation is the most efficient way to develop and lift communities from poverty.