Dr Parwinder Singh Grewal appointed chief of Vermont State University

Dalvinder Singh Grewal

Jan 3, 2010
Dr Parwinder Singh Grewal appointed chief of Vermont State University

Dr Dalvinder Singh Grewal
Prof Emeritus
Desh Bhagat University

Dr Parwinder Singh Grewal has been appointed the president (vice-chancellor) of the newly created Vermont State University by the Vermont State Colleges System Board of Trustees, a press note said here today. The new university is being created by combining Castleton University, Northern Vermont University and Vermont Technical College.

The Board of Trustees of the Vermont State Colleges System announced Monday that Dr. Parwinder Grewal has accepted the position of inaugural president at Vermont State University (VSU), effective July 1, 2022. VSU, comprised of the current Castleton University, Northern Vermont University, and Vermont Technical College, will be the first statewide, hybrid institution in the United States. VSU will welcome its first class in Fall 2023.
UTRGV President Guy Bailey said the service and leadership Grewal provided throughout his time at UTRGV, especially during the university’s transformative years, made him the perfect candidate for this presidency.

“We are extremely proud of Parwinder being named president of Vermont State University,” Bailey said. “What Vermont State will experience over the next few years, will be very similar to what UTRGV experienced early on. Parwinder has been instrumental to the success UTRGV has experienced throughout our existence, and I have no doubt that he will be a great leader for Vermont State as they prepare for a similar transition.”

Grewal joined UTRGV in 2015 as the inaugural dean of the College of Sciences and was named Executive Vice President for Research, Graduate Studies, and New Program Development in April 2018. He currently serves as Special Assistant to the President.

“While I am honored and excited about my appointment as the Inaugural President of the Vermont State University, I will dearly miss the UTRGV community,” Grewal said. “I will particularly miss the many faculty, staff, students, and community members with whom I had the opportunity to work with. UTRGV has experienced tremendous growth since its founding in 2015, and I have been very fortunate to have the opportunity to be part of its success story.”

Dr. Parwinder S. Grewal was born in village Dharaur, District Ludhiana, Punjab India. He received his B.S. (1981) and M.S. (1983) from the Punjab Agricultural University. He was recognized as the Outstanding M.S. Agricultural Sciences Student and was awarded a Gold Medal by the University. He started his professional career as a Nematologist with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and worked on mushroom nematodes for 4 years. He was then selected for a scholarship from the Royal Commission of London for a Ph.D. which he earned from the Imperial College, University of London in 1990. His Ph.D. research focussed on the effects of saprophagous nematodes and their associated bacteria on mushroom production for which he received the Young Scientist of the Year Award by the U.K. Mushroom Growers Association.

He was appointed as a Higher Scientific Officer at the Horticultural Research Institute in Littlehampton, England where he worked with Dr. Paul Richardson. Together, they developed the first biological product based on entomopathogenic nematodes for the control of mushroom sciarid flies. This work later received the Queens Team Award for Environmental Achievement. Parwinder then joined the Rutgers University of New Jersey as a Post-doctoral Research Associate to pursue more fundamental research on entomopathogenic nematode host-finding behavior and thermal biology. In 1993, he joined Biosys Inc. as a Senior Scientist and Manager where he lead research on mass-production and formulations of entomopathogenic nematodes. In 1997, he joined the Ohio State University where he is currently an Professor of Entomology and Nematology.

As of 2009, He is the author of over 130 refereed papers, 17 book chapters, and over 40 articles in conference proceedings, grower magazines, etc. He was the lead editor of the 2005 book Nematodes as Biocontrol Agents, holds 6 patents, and as PI or Co-PI has been awarded over 11 million dollars in competitive grants.

The overall goal of Parwinder's current research program is to further expand the biological control potential of entomopathogenic nematodes. His research on nematodes truly ranges from molecule to ecosystem and it covers diverse areas of science such as ecological genetics, evolutionary biology, thermal biology, biochemical and physiological ecology, and integrated pest management. Unraveling the mechanisms of nematode longevity and stress tolerance, mechanisms of virulence, host-finding, and desiccation tolerance, are some of the more exciting examples of the fundamental research conducted in his laboratory. He has published over 75 peer-reviewed research papers, 7 book chapters, and 5 review articles on various aspects of plant and insect nematodes. He has also been instrumental in the development of the award-winning video and the web site on entomopathogenic nematodes.

Parwinder’s research on stress tolerance mechanisms has revealed fundamental aspects of nematodephysiology and biochemistry and provided critical information for determining optimal conditions for using entomopathogenic nematodes as biocontrol agents. His laboratory established reliable techniques for genetic manipulation of Heterorhabditis bacteriophora and established a cDNA library for the nematode. Parwinder is a team builder. At Ohio State, he has successfully established collaborations with his colleagues in Entomology, Horticulture and Crop Science, Plant Pathology, Natural Resources, and Agricultural Engineering on different aspects of nematode research. Currently, there are 5 Ph.D. students, 2 MS students, 5 post-doctoral fellows, and a visiting scientist are working in his laboratory.

Parwinder is also very generous with his time for professional and public service. He has served as an editor of the Journal of Nematology. He is serving on the international editorial boards of Biological Control and Biocontrol Science and Technology. He has served on the Research Enhancement Advisory Committee of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, the Research Review Advisory Committee of the Ohio Turfgrass Foundation, and the USDA Research Grant Panel.

Parwinder has recently received other prestigious awards including the Lindbergh Award for Environmental Achievement and the Ohio State University Distinguished Faculty Award.

Dr Grewal received the Syngenta Award of the Society of Nematologists in 2002. The award is presented by Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc. In 2009 he was named Fellow of the Society of Nematologists