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Contact: Tyrone C. Spady, PhD
American Society of Plant Biologists

ASPB names 2014 awards recipients

Honors to be presented at Plant Biology 2014 in Portland

ROCKVILLE, MD -- The American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2014 awards, honoring excellence in research, education, outreach, and service.

Charles Albert Shull Award

Libo Shan , Texas A&M University, College Station

Libo Shan has earned this year's Charles Albert Shull Award for her impressive contributions to the field of plant – microbe interactions and plant immune signaling. Libo's research discoveries have deepened our understanding of the function of plant immune receptors and the downstream pathways they trigger. Her multidisciplinary approaches have revealed the important and unexpected mechanisms of ubiquitin-mediated degradation of the FLS2 flagellin receptor to dampening pattern-triggered signaling, dual-specificity phosphorylation by the cytoplasmic receptor kinase BIK1 in immune signaling, and of the effects of temperature on the differential regulation of pattern- and effector-triggered signaling pathways. Libo's efforts to establish cotton as a model system will help future work to refine disease protection strategies for agriculturally important plants.

Charles Reid Barnes Life Membership Award

James N. Siedow, Duke University

The Charles Reid Barnes Life Membership Award, ASPB's oldest award, was established in 1925 and honors lifelong service in plant biology. This year's recipient of the Barnes Award is James N. (Jim) Siedow of Duke University, who is recognized and honored for both his stellar research in plant biochemistry, and his service to the plant biology community, within and beyond ASPB. Over the course of a forty year career, Jim helped found the field of mitochondrial bioenergetics, and he has been a strong and effective advocate for plant biology research. Jim has also made numerous highly valued contributions to the ASPB, including providing insightful leadership as the Society's President (1994 – 1995).

Charles F. Kettering Award

Susanne von Caemmerer, Australian National University

Susanne von Caemmerer co-developed what is arguably the most widely used biochemical model in plant biology – the Farquhar, von Caemmerer and Berry model of C3 photosynthesis. Susanne led reducing the model to practice, first identifying the key physiological measurements and then the new molecular approaches needed to apply the model. Susanne went on to develop an equally widely used model of C4 photosynthesis. She resolved the long debated and critical question of why there is so much Rubisco by showing that under high-light Rubisco exerts very strong metabolic control in both C3 and C4 plants and therefore is not in excess. Most recently Susanne has led the way toward resolving anomalies around the critical issue of mesophyll conductance.

Early Career Award

Jing-Ke Weng, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Early Career Award acknowledges outstanding research by a scientist generally not more than seven years post-Ph.D. This year's Early Career Award recipient is Jing‐Ke Weng of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA. Jing-Ke is recognized for his extraordinary record of achievement, creativity, and future promise as a leader in understanding the evolution of biochemical diversity in plants.

Excellence in Education Award

Brent Buckner, Truman State University

The 2014 Excellence in Education Award honors Brent Buckner (Truman State University). Brent is recognized as a leader, not only for his innovative teaching and high quality mentoring, but also for engaging in funded projects that reach far beyond his institution. He has an impressive record of working with undergraduate students on meaningful research projects leading to mutual publications and of placing students into excellent graduate and professional programs (frequently in the plant sciences). Brent has been an impactful contributor to national programs including MaizeGDB and DNA Subway through the iPlant Collaborative. By teaching others to use evidence-based teaching strategies, he is serving an invaluable role in the plant biology community.

Lawrence Bogorad Award for Excellence in Plant Biology Research

Thomas J. Guilfoyle, University of Missouri

Thomas J. Guilfoyle has been an inspiring pioneer and innovative leader since the inception of plant molecular biology. He has made fundamental scientific contributions in applying cutting-edge molecular technologies and approaches toward developing invaluable tools and novel concepts that have illuminated new directions of research in plant hormone signaling and propelled discoveries in plant transcriptional regulation, viral replication and auxin biology. In addition to his research achievements, Tom's dedication, creativity and generosity have greatly inspired a broad spectrum of plant biologists and students across different plant fields from physiology to biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology. His work and vision will continue to provide illumination in current research and stimulate future innovations in plant biology. Accordingly, Tom is the 2014 recipient of the ASPB Lawrence Bogorad Award for Excellence in Plant Biology Research, which honors Dr. Bogorad's many contributions to plant biology.

Robert Rabson Award

Dominique Loqué, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

For his exceptional creativity in developing several novel and widely applicable strategies for plant cell wall engineering, Dominique Loqué (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California) is the winner of the second Robert Rabson Award. This award recognizes Rabson's steadfast advocacy for plant biology through the creation of funding programs in the U.S. Department of Energy for research in basic energy sciences.

Stephen Hales Prize

Mike Thomashow, Michigan State University

Mike Thomashow is the 2014 recipient of the Stephen Hales prize, which honors the Reverend Stephen Hales for his pioneering work in plant biology published in his 1727 book Vegetable Staticks.. Mike is recognized for his important contributions toward understanding the responses of plants to cold. Furthermore he has served plant biology in many ways, including as president of ASPB (2005 – 2006), as an editor of major journals, as director of his institute in a difficult period, and by promoting plant science at the local and national levels.

Corresponding Membership Award

Corresponding Member status is conferred by election on the annual ballot. This honor, initially given in 1932, provides life membership and Society publications to distinguished plant biologists from outside the United States.

Fellow of ASPB Award

Established in 2007 and granted to no more than 0.2% of the current membership, the Fellow of ASPB Award may be given in recognition of distinguished and long-term contributions to plant biology and service to the Society by current members in areas that include research, education, mentoring, outreach, and professional and public service.

Current members of ASPB who have contributed to the Society for at least 10 years are eligible for nomination.


ASPB is a professional scientific society, headquartered in Rockville, Maryland, devoted to the advancement of the plant sciences worldwide. With a membership of some 4,500 plant scientists from throughout the United States and around the world, the Society publishes two of the most widely cited plant science journals: The Plant Cell and Plant Physiology. For more information about ASPB, please visit http://www.aspb.org/. Also follow ASPB on Facebook at facebook.com/myASPB and on Twitter @ASPB.

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