Subba Reddy Palli, ESA Fellow (2014)

Dr. Subba Reddy Palli, a professor of entomology at the University of Kentucky, was elected Fellow in 2014.  He is internationally recognized for his research on hormonal regulation of molting, metamorphosis and reproduction, development of ecdysone receptor-based gene switches, and RNAi-based pest management methods.

Palli was born in 1960 in a small village in India and attended Andhra Pradesh Agricultural University at Bapatla, receiving a B.S. in agriculture in 1981. He attended the Indian Agricultural Research Institute and earned an M.S. in 1983. Palli then moved to Canada and received his doctorate from the University of Western Ontario in 1988. He was also trained as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington. Subsequently, Palli worked as a research scientist at the Canadian Forest Service’s Great Lakes Forestry Centre, and later at Rohm and Hass Company as the senior research scientist and group leader. Palli played a key role in the development of ecdysone receptor-based gene switch technology that is being tested in clinical trials for regulation of anticancer genes in humans and production of bioplastics in plants. Palli joined the University of Kentucky's Department of Entomology as an assistant professor in 2002 and was promoted to associate professor and professor in 2005 and 2008, respectively.

Palli’s research focuses on hormonal regulation of gene expression in insects with a goal of identifying proteins that play key roles in signal transduction of ecdysteroids, juvenile hormones, and other hormones, and their use in developing novel, environmentally-safe pest management methods. He has published 150 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters and co-edited a book. He is also a co-inventor on 28 patents. Recent research from Palli’s laboratory helped to develop RNA interference (RNAi) technology-based methods for controlling insect pests and for fighting insecticide resistance in beetles and bed bugs.

Palli has received several prestigious awards at the University of Kentucky, including a University Research Professorship, Fulbright Award, the Thomas Poe Cooper Research Award, the Bobby Pass Excellence in Grantsmanship Award, the High Impact Research/Extension Award, the High Impact Paper Award, and the Wethington Award. Palli is also the recipient of the ESA Recognition Award in Insect Physiology, Biochemistry and Toxicology. He has organized and chaired several symposia at ESA Annual Meetings and at international conferences. Palli also served as President of the ESA’s Physiology, Biochemistry, and Toxicology Section. He currently serves on the editorial boards of ten journals and served on grant review panels of the National Science Foundation (NSF), the USDA's National Research Initiative, and the National Institutes of Health. He also serves as the co-director of the Center for Arthropod Management Technologies, a recently established NSF Industry and University Cooperative Research Center.

Palli is married to Usha Rekha and has two sons, Rohith and Roshan. His hobbies include gardening, travel, cooking, and sports.

(updated February, 2015)