Dr. ​M. Kamal Chowdhury

Dr. Chowdhury is a well known plant biotechnologist with over 35 years of mentoring and leadership experience.


Dr. Chowdhury is a well known plant biotechnologist with over 35 years of mentoring and leadership experiences in academia and industry is leading our Biology department to prepare Claflin students for stimulating careers in biotechnology and biological sciences areas and to be future leaders of the world. His accomplishments include 56 publications in 20 peer-reviewed journals on 15 crop species in the area of quantitative and molecular genetics, plant tissue culture, genetic engineering, plant-made vaccines, bio-fuel and plant metabolomics and co-inventors of a patent on biofuel area. He mentored several postdocs, four PhD graduate students, three of which already earned their PhD degrees, many MS, undergraduate students, and employees. He is serving at Claflin University since February, 2006 of which three years as interim chair of the Biology department. During his interim chair period, Biology faculty members secured multi-million dollar grants from multiple federal agencies. His research fundings at Claflin University are from Department of Energy, Department of Defense (DARPA), NIH and SC Energy Office to develop bio-fuels from ligno-cellulosic materials, alternative feedstock for bio-fuel industry, plant-made vaccines, and to identify bioactive compounds involved in plant and human disease defense. He has experience working both at the national and international level, respects cultural and ethnic diversity and travelled 36 countries. The postdocs, graduates and employees he mentored are currently holding faculty and research positions in different academic institutions, and leadership positions in industries and research institutions. 

Dr. Chowdhury was born in Bangladesh, a first generation university graduate from his family. He was interested in understating the genetic and environmental interactions in the phenotypic expression of traits especially in plants and acquiring skills for genetic manipulation to apply this knowledge and skills to improve quantitative and qualitative production of economically important crops to improve quality of life and to serve humanity. With that in mind, he studied plant biology and received BS and MS degrees in Botany with distinction and continued his PhD in the area of Genetics. After PhD, he expanded his knowledge horizon and acquired different skills by working at different institutions and corporations in the USA and Malaysia. He believes that the role of a teacher is to facilitate a conducive environment for active learning and a thorough understanding of the language of life (genetic basis of heredity), a foundation of modern biotechnology, will prepare Claflin students to be leaders in biotechnology field and will ensure Claflin graduates to secure jobs with competitive salaries.


  • PhD in Genetics, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, England. 1984
  • MS in Botany, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. 1979 (First Class First)
  • BS in Botany, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh 1977. Minor in Biochemistry and Zoology (First Class with Honors, stood first in order of merit in Bangladesh

Research Interests

  • Metabolomics
  • Biofuel
  • Genetic engineering
  • Plant-made pharmaceuticals
  • Genetic conservation and clonal propagation of endangered and economically important plant species
  • Clonal fidelity testing of tissue culture-derived plants using molecular markers


Dr. Chowdhury came to Claflin University with a long and distinguished record of accomplishments in the academia (University of Birmingham, England, University of Florida and University of Georgia), government laboratories (US Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, MD and Palm Oil Research Institute of Malaysia) and corporate sectors (International Paper Company in GA and Arborgen LLC, Summerville, SC). In those institutions, he served in research and leadership roles to mentor/train students and employees and to develop competencies (knowledge, skills and abilities) to secure quality jobs and to produce visionary leaders. At Claflin University, he taught nine courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, conducted research, secured grant fundings, mentored undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs and also served as interim chair of Biology department where he lead 15 full time faculty including four full professors, taught Genetics, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Botany, Biology, Biostatistics and plant biotechnology related courses and conduct research projects in areas of plant-made-pharmaceuticals, genetically engineered product development and biofuel from biomass.

At Arborgen, LLC which is World leader in forest biotechnology, Dr. Chowdhury lead and manage proprietary research projects in areas of operational clone deployment and genetically engineered product development. Similarly, at International Paper which is World’s largest paper, pulp and forest products company, he lead R & D programs in the field of clonal propagation systems on softwood (pine) and hardwood (sweet gum and eucalyptus) species

At University of Florida, he studied genomic stability of mitochondrial DNA in long-term tissue cultured cells of rice and molecular mechanisms of cytoplasmic male sterility in millet and molecular marker development in Napier grass

These diverse experience and skill sets prepared him to be a competent teacher, researcher and leader at Claflin University which is evidenced by various awards he received from the university and also from his delivery of research presentations at different national and international conferences.

Activities and Honors

  • 2012 Faculty Fellowship in PSU-Harrisburg from June 18 to August 17 to mentor participants of a NSF funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program.
  • 2012 Claflin University The James E. Hunter Excellence in Teaching Award
  • 2012 Attorney Johnson’s Claflin University Endowed Faculty Award for Innovative Scientific Research
  • 2011 Faculty Fellowship in Boston University from July 05 to August 12
  • 2010 The United Methodist Excellence in Teaching Award, Claflin University, USA
  • 2009 Best service award of the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Claflin University, USA
  • Senior Research Fellowship at Palm Oil Research Institute of Malaysia (1992-1995) to conduct research on genetic engineering of oil palm, cucumber and muskmelon, and molecular level investigation of tissue culture-induced clonal abnormalities of oil palms.
  • Commonwealth award to study for Ph.D. degree 1981-1984
  • Dhaka University Grants Commission Fellowship, Bangladesh 1980
  • Best student award for the results of M.S. final examination 1979
  • Dhaka University award for outstanding result in B.S. (Honors) final examination 1977
  • Dhaka University award for excellence in Botany 1973-1977

Recent Publications

  • Asmaa Abdelsalam, Ehab Mahran, Kamal Chowdhury, Arezue Boroujerdi, Ahmed El-bakry (2016). NMR-based Metabolomics Analysis of Wild, Greenhouse, and In vitro Propagated Shoots of Cymbopogon proximus with GC-MS Assessment of Proximadiol Production. Submitted in In Vitro Cell Dev. Biol. - Plant journal
  • Asmaa Abdelsalam, Kamal Chowdhury, Ahmed El-bakry (2016) Micropropagation through in vitro tillering from seed cultures of the medicinal plant Cymbopogon schoenanthus subsp. Proximus. Submitted in In Vitro Cell Dev. Biol. - Plant journal
  • Ehab Mahran, Mohammed Hosny, Atef El-hela, Randall Harris, Kamal Chowdhury, Arezue Boroujerdi(2016). Anarrhinum pubescens: Antibacterial evaluation, In vitro propagation, and Genetic Homogeneity Assessment of Propagated Clones. Submitted in Biologia Plantarum journal
  • Mahmud Iqbal, Chowdhury Kamal, Boroujerdi Arezue (2015). NMR-based Metabolomics: A Potential Tool for Distinguishing Between the Metabolic Profiles of Sugarcane Explants and their Corresponding Callus Tissues. submitted in Anal Bioanal Chem (ABC).
  • Mahmud I, Kousik C, Hassell R, Chowdhury K, Boroujerdi A (2015). NMR Spectroscopy Identifies Metabolites Translocated from Powdery Mildew Resistant Rootstocks to Susceptible Watermelon Scions. Agricultural and Food Chemistry Journal doi:10.1021/acs.jafc.5b02108, Sept 2015.
  • Abdel-Salam Asmaa M, Chowdhury Kamal and El-Bakry Ahmed A (2015). Effect of sugar Types, Culture Age, Concentrations of 2,4-D and Sucrose on Somatic Embryogeneis of Cymbopogon schoenanthus subsp. proximus. Plant Tissue Culture & Biotechnology 25(1):51-62.
  • Mahmud I, Shrestha B, Boroujerdi A, Chowdhury K (2015). NMR-Based Metabolomics Profile Comparison to Distinguish Between Embryogenic and Non-Embryogenic Callus Tissues of Sugarcane at the Biochemical Level. In Vitro Cell Dev. Biol. 51:340-349. DOI 10.1007/s11627-015-9687-8
  • Iqbal Mahmud , Monica Thapaliya, Arezue Boroujerdi , Kamal Chowdhury (2014). NMR-based metabolomics study of the biochemical relationship between sugarcane callus tissues and their respective nutrient culture media. Published online on July 11, 2014. Anal Bioanal Chem (ABC) DOI 10.1007/s00216-014-8002-6; 406(24):5997-6005.
  • Iqbal Mahmud, Kamal Chowdhury and Arezue Boroujerdi (2014). Tissue-Specific Metabolic Profile Study of Moringa oleifera L. Using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy. Plant Tissue Cult. & Biotech. 24(1): 77-86, 2014 (June)
  • Mihail Kanotor, Radu Sestras and Kamal Chowdhury (2013) Transgenic tomato plants expressing the antigen gene PfCP-2.9 of Plasmodium falciparum. Pesquisa Agropecuaria Brasileira 48(1):73-79.
  • Mihail Kanotor, Kamal Chowdhury (2011) Transgenic Tomato Plants with merozoite PfCP-2.9 malaria antigen gene (accepted for Notulae Botanicae Horti Agrobotanici Cluj-Napoca Horticulture journal).
  • Kamal Chowdhury (2011) Current Status of Plant-made Vaccines: Challenges and Opportunities Bulletin of University of Agricultural Sciences and veterinary medicine Cluj-Napoca Horticulture journal 68(1): 11-25.
  • Sriharsha Karampudi and Kamal Chowdhury (2011) Effect of Media on Algae Growth for Bio-fuel Production. Notulae Scientia Biologicae (NSB) journal 3(3): 33-41.
  • A.K.M. Mohiuddin, Zaliha C. Abdullah, Kamal Chowdhury, K. Harikrishna and Suhaimi Napis (2011) Enhanced Virulence Gene Activity of Agrobacterium in Muskmelon (Cucumis melo L.) cv. Birdie. Notulae Scientia Biologicae (NSB) journal 3(2):71-79.

Patent applications

  • Bagasra O, Chowdhury K, Tisdale V, Bullard-Dillard R, Miller III G (2014) Single Vessel Production of Butanol from Biomass using Engineered Thermophilic Microorganisms. US Patent # 8,669,082 issued on March 11, 2014
  • Becwar MR, Chowdhury MK, Nehra NS, Rutter MR, Clark JJ, Sage JS, Seymore SK, Stout TJ, Winkles RW, Victor JMR (2006) Somatic Embryogenesis and Embryo harvesting and method and apparatus for preparing for plant embryos for plant production US 2006/0260015 A1
  • Becwar MR, Clark J, Chowdhury K, Eadie L, Nehra NS, Victor JMR (2008) A liquid –based method for producing embryos WO 2008/030423 A2

Recent Presentations

  • 2015: Invited speaker titled “Use of NMR-based Metabolomics profiling to study watermelon Powdery Mildew disease and Sugarcane Somatic Embryogenesis” at Weyerhauser Company Headquarter, Federal Way, Washington, on August 06, 2015
  • 2014: Invited speaker titled “ Use of NMR Spectroscopy to Identify Metabolites in Powdery Mildew Resistant Rootstocks and their Translocation to Susceptible Watermelon Scions” at International Association for Plant Biotechnologists (IAPB) World Congress, Melbourne, Australia, August 13
  • 2014: Invited speaker titled “ NMR-based Metabolomics Profile Comparison to Distinguish between Embryogenic and Non-embryogenic Callus Tissue of Sugarcane at the Biochemical level” at SIVB meeting, Savannah, GA, USA, June 03
  • 2011: Invited to chair and be a plenary session speaker titled “Current Status of Plant-made Vaccines: Challenges and Opportunities” in Biotechnology session of 10th International Symposium titled “Perspective of the 3rd Millennium Agriculture” and offered free registration and accommodation in an International symposium at Cluj, Romania from Sept 29 – October 01
  • 2011: Chaired and also a speaker in a session entitled “plant-made pharmaceuticals / vaccines” at SIVB meeting in Raleigh, NC, June 4-8.
  • 2009 “Plant-derived antimalarial vaccine development: challenges and opportunities” First International Conference on Material Science, Nanotechnology and Biotechnology (MNB) January 4-6, 2009, National Research Center, Cairo, Egypt (Session Keynote speaker)

Recent Performances

  • External examiner of University Professor and Associate Professor rank promotions
  • External examiner of four PhD theses
  • Mentor of two IRACDA-MUSC postdoc scholars in teaching training
  • Reviewer of 40 articles for 8 peer-reviewed plant biotechnology-related journals since 2007
  • Editorial board member of two International journals
  • Session Chair of 9 International and National conferences since 2004
  • High School Science Fair judge in Orangeburg area of South Carolina

Dr. Chowdhury
Dr. ​M. Kamal Chowdhury
Professor of Biology
  • School of Natural Sciences & Mathematics
James S. Thomas, 225-B
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