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Formal headshot of man with short black hair, wearing glasses with a light blue button up shirt with collar on. The background of the picture is an opaque blue.Dr. Xiaoning Qian is collaborating with researchers from Texas A&M AgriLife on a project that aims to develop systems-based high-tech solutions addressing the needs of farmers and processors for sustainable and healthier supply chains for fruit.

Qian is an assistant professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M. The $4.4 million project he’s collaborating on seeks to discover ways to improve the U.S. melon industry.

The four-year project, “A Sustainable, Systems-based Approach for a Safer and Healthier Melon Supply Chain in the U.S.,” will be led by Dr. Bhimu Patil, director of AgriLife Research’s Vegetable and Fruit Improvement Center and professor in the horticultural sciences department.

Qian will help analyze the next-generation sequencing data to understand the changes in melons under biological (biotic) and non-biological (abiotic) stresses such as pathogens and conditions of drought and heat.

Qian is a member of the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station-AgriLife Center for Bioinformatics and Genomic Systems Engineering. His research specializations include statistical learning and optimization, signal and image processing, and their applications in life and materials sciences. In the past, his research has been funded by an National Science Foundation CAREER Award and by other federal agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, United States Department of Agriculture, and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.