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.
- Cathie Martin, John Innes Center
Cathie is a group leader at the John Innes Centre and Professor at the University of East Anglia, UK. Her research spans the entire spectrum of plant biology, from fundamental to applied. Her fundamental research has focused on cellular specialization, especially how color and cell shape in flowers are used by different plants for pollinator attraction. Cathie discovered key genes that control pigment production, and showed that these genes can be manipulated and transferred among plant species to generate new colors and patterns. Cathie took advantage of the opportunity to develop her research findings for the promotion of human health, and she was recently recognized as 'Most Promising Innovator' of 2014 by the UK National Funding Agency, the Biological and Biotechnological Science Research Council. She was also rewarded for her notable contributions to plant biotechnology and her service to plant science, including as Editor-in-Chief of The Plant Cell, when she was awarded an MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) by the Queen of England. Indeed, Cathie has served on the editorial board of The Plant Cell continuously for 15 years as Coeditor, Assigning Editor and, since 2008, as Editor-in-Chief. Cathie has been a long standing member of ASPB; and she has served as a conference chair, keynote speaker, plenary speaker and session organizer at numerous conferences, including ASPB meetings.
- Carl Douglas, University of British Columbia
Carl is a Professor at the University of British Columbia, Canada. He is recognized internationally for his pioneering work on molecular biology and genetics of plant metabolism with particular contributions through his research on phenylpropanoid metabolism, lignin biosynthesis, and regulation of plant cell wall biosynthesis. Carl has also been a major contributor to the establishment and development of poplar as a model system for tree biology. Carl was the vice-President and President of the Canadian Society of Plant Biologists (CSPB; 2007 – 2011), in which capacity he served as a co-host for the joint CSPB-ASPB Plant Biology meeting in Montréal in 2010. Carl has been a member of ASPB for almost 30 years, and he is also active this year on the ASPB Program Committee. He has organized or helped to organize several recent international meetings.
- Su-May Yu, Academia Sinica
Su-May is a distinguished research fellow at the Institute of Molecular Biology, Academia Sinica, Taiwan. She is recognized internationally for her pioneering work on rice transformation using Agrobacterium which she followed up by establishing a large rice T-DNA instertional mutant population. Su-May's research has also provided new insight into the source – sink relationship that balances nutrient demand and supply at the beginning of the life cycle in cereals. She has also successfully translated her innovative basic research into applications. As a result, she has been granted 29 international patents. Su-May has received a number of international and national awards, including Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS; 2009) and Taiwan Outstanding Women in Science (2013). In addition, she has been an active member of ASPB.
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.
- Janet Braam , Rice University
Janet has made fundamental contributions to our understanding of the signaling pathways through which plants perceive changes in their environment and mount appropriate responses. She has served ASPB as a proactive and insightful member of the Program Committee (2007-2012) and on the Charles Reid Barnes Life Membership Committee (2000-2003, chair 2003).
- Eduardo Blumwald, University of California, Davis
Eduardo's extensive contributions to our understanding of transport mechanisms that contribute to abiotic stress tolerance exemplify the importance of basic plant biology in developing strategies to improve crop performance. He has served ASPB through his service on the International Affairs Committee (2008-2010), by organizing international (1989) and western regional (2003, 2013) ASPB conferences, as well as by chairing the ASPB Western Section (2010-2013).
- Tuan-Hua David Ho ,Washington University and Academia Sinica
David is internationally recognized for his contributions to our understanding of hormonal regulation of seed germination and plant responses to environmental stresses. He has an extensive and distinguished record of ASPB service, including on the Program Committee (1994-1998), the International Committee (1999-2008; chair, 2013-2016), and the Corresponding Membership Awards Committee (chair, 2001-2005); on the editorial board of Plant Physiology (1983-1992; 1995-2001); as ASPB's representative to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1992-1994); and as President-Elect, President, and Immediate Past-President of ASPB (2008-2011).
- Norman G. Lewis, Washington State University
Norman is a pioneer in the field of plant lignin biosynthesis and, more broadly, an expert in plant secondary metabolites and metabolomics. He has a distinguished record of service to plant biology through his work on editorial boards and review committees and as the director of a leading plant science research institute. His has directly served ASPB as a monitoring editor for Plant Physiology (2005-2010) and as an active and effective member of the Science Policy Committee (2010-2014).
- Gloria K. Muday, Wake Forest University
Gloria is widely recognized for her work elucidating plant hormone biology, particularly the transport of auxin and the roles of auxin and other hormones in lateral root development and gravitropism. She has served ASPB in many roles, including as a Monitoring Editor of Plant Physiology (1998-2000), as an elected member of the Executive Committee (2010-2013), and on the Corresponding Membership Award Committee (1994-1998 and 2007-2011; chair 2008-2011).
- Robert E. Sharp, University of Missouri
Bob is internationally known for his pioneering research on the physiological mechanisms that determine plant growth responses to water deficits, with a focus on root growth adaptation. Bob has served ASPB through various roles, including as a member of the editorial board of Plant Physiology (1989-1998), as a member of the ASPB-Pioneer Hybrid Award Committee (2005-2013), and by encouraging his students to play active roles in the society.
- Christopher J. Staiger, Purdue University
Chris is a leader in the plant cytoskeleton field and has made fundamental contributions to our understanding of the assembly and dynamics of actin, particularly relating to self-incompatibility in pollen and plant-pathogen interactions. His contributions to ASPB include serving on the Corresponding Membership Award Committee (2004-2008) and as a coeditor of The Plant Cell (2005-present).
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.