Prof Shashi Pandey Rai has a brilliant academic record. Her performance in postgraduation fetched her three Gold Medals (Birbal Sahani Memorial Gold Medal, Shri Rakeshwar Lal Sinha Gold Medal and Kamayani Memorial Gold Medal) of Lucknow University. She has made outstanding contribution in the area of epigenetics/genetics/ genomics of regulation of stress resistance/terpenoid biosynthetic pathway expression in Artemissia annua, Catharanthus roseus, Withania coagulans. The main focus of her research is to identifying key elements involved in these processes which will allow generating novel tools for metabolic engineering. To this end, her group developed a functional genomics platform that allows (i) comprehensive investigations of epigenetic regulation of plant secondary metabolism and (ii) gene discovery on a genome-wide scale. For the first time she has been able to demonstrate that drought and salt resistant loss-of-function mutants simultaneously harbour pleiotropic changes in seedling and adult plant morphology. Some of the mutants harbor gross changes in the shoot morphology, inflorescence architecture, implicating involvement of chromatin remodeling in the adaptation process against abiotic stresses. Implication of epigenetic repressors in the expression of alkaloid/terpenoid pathway and stress management gives an entirely new direction to the research on secondary metabolism in plants. Her efforts has opened new area of research work in India by providing novel genetic material in a plant in which secondary metabolism is of great commercial importance. She has Published 88 in international and national publications, One US Patent FPO 1826 , NF28/04 granted and published online in 2006,App. No. 10/838531), One technology transfered to Almet India Pvt. ltd.(Mahyco). Currently, she is also involved in several activities as life member of various societies such as Society of Conservation Biodiversity, India., Life Member of the Biotech Research Society, India, Life Member of the Indian Vegetable Science Society, India.Life Member of the Indian Society of Plant Physiologist, India., Fellow of the Society of Applied Biotechnology, India, Life Member of The Indian Botanical Society, India, Life member of Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA), India and Member, Institutional Bio-safety Committee of BHU and member of IGNSA, Asia. She has also received Y. S. Murty medal for her outstanding contribution in the area of botanical sciences.
Research Interests of Prof Shashi Pandey Rai are Conservation of plant genetic resources by in vitro technique; manipulation of genes to improve the yield, quality and stability of medicinal plant having great commercial importance; functional genomics; comprehensive investigations of epigenetic regulation of plant secondary metabolites and gene discovery on a genome-wide scale.