News Release

The American Society of Plant Biologists announces 2007 awards

Grant and Award Announcement

American Society of Plant Biologists

Rockville, MD. (September 6, 2007) - The American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) is pleased to announce recipients of its 2007 awards. These awards were presented at the society’s annual meeting that was held jointly with the Botanical Society of America as well as the American Fern Society and the American Society of Plant Taxonomists July 7-11, 2007 in Chicago, Illinois. The following is a list of the 2007 award winners in 10 different categories:

Fellow of ASPB Award Established in 2007, the Fellow of ASPB award may be granted 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.

The 2007 inaugural class of ASPB Fellows are: Charles Arntzen, Arizona State University; Sarah Assmann; Pennsylvania State University; Neil Baker, University of Essex; Wendy Boss; North Carolina State University; John Boyer, University of Delaware; Winslow Briggs, Carnegie Institution of Washington; Bob Buchanan, University of California – Berkeley; Joe Cherry, Professor Emeritus, Auburn University; Maarten Chrispeels, University of California – San Diego; Adrienne Clark; Robert Cleland, Professor Emeritus University of Washington; Mary Clutter, Retired from National Science Foundation; Dan Cosgrove, Pennsylvania State University; Deborah Delmer, Professor Emeritus University of California – Davis; Machi Dilworth, National Science Foundation; Arthur Galston, Professor Emeritus Yale University; Elisabeth Gantt, University of Maryland; Robert Goldberg, University of California – Los Angeles; Mary H. Goldsmith, Yale University; Wilhelm Gruissem, ETH Zurich, Switzerland; Thomas Guilfoyle, University of Missouri; Roger Hangarter, Indiana University; Peter Hepler, University of Massachusetts; Ann Hirsch, University of California – Los Angeles; Thomas K. Hodges, Professor Emeritus Purdue University; Steven Huber, University of Illinois; Andre Jagendorf, Cornell University; Russell Jones, University of California – Berkeley; Rich Jorgensen, University of Arizona; Kenneth Keegstra, Michigan State University; Joe Key, Professor Emeritus University of Georgia; Leon Kochian, USDA-ARS Cornell University; Brian Larkins, University of Arizona; Christopher Leaver, University of Oxford; Sharon Long, Stanford University; William Lucas, University of California – Davis; William Ogren, Professor Emeritus; Don Ort, University of Illinois; Bernard Phinney, University of California – Los Angeles; Ralph Quatrano, Washington University; Robert Rabson, Retired from U.S. Department of Energy; Natasha Raikhel, University of California – Riverside; Doug Randall, University of Missouri; Clarence ‘Bud’ Ryan, Washington State University; Thomas Sharkey, University of Wisconsin – Madison; James Siedow, Duke University; Christopher R. Somerville, Carnegie Institution; L Andrew Staehelin, University of Colorado; Heven Sze, University of Maryland; Lincoln Taiz, University of California – Santa Cruz; Tony Trewavas, University of Edinburgh; Masamitzu Wada, National Institute for Basic Biology - Japan; Jan Zeevaart, Michigan State University.

Adolph E. Gude, Jr., Award This monetary award honors the Gude Family, who made possible the establishment of the Gude Plant Science Center. The award, established by the Society and first given in 1983, is made triennially to a scientist or lay person in recognition of outstanding service to the science of plant biology. Winslow R. Briggs, Carnegie Institution of Washington received the 2007 Gude Award for his outstanding service to the plant science community.

Charles Albert Shull Award Created in 1971 to honor the Society’s founding father and the first editor-in-chief of Plant Physiology, this award is designed to recognize young researchers. It is a monetary award made annually and is given for outstanding investigations in the field of plant biology by a scientist who is under 40 years of age on January 1 of the year of presentation, or who is fewer than 10 years from the granting of the doctoral degree. The recipient is invited to address the Society at the annual meeting the following year.

The 2007 winner is Samuel C. Zeeman, ETH Zurich, Switzerland, for pioneering research leading to the discovery of new proteins and pathways in starch synthesis and degradation in leaves. This is a topic that is of broad interest to plant biologists and also has relevance to food processing and human health and nutrition.

Charles Reid Barnes Life Membership Award This is the oldest award, established in 1925 at the first annual meeting of the Society through the generosity of Dr. Charles A. Shull. It honors Dr. Charles Reid Barnes, the first professor of plant physiology at the University of Chicago. It is an annual award for meritorious work in plant biology; it provides a life membership in the Society to an individual who is at least sixty years old. John S. Boyer, University of Delaware is the 2007 winner.

Corresponding Membership Award This honor, initially given in 1932, provides life membership and Society publications to distinguished plant biologists from outside the United States. The honor is conferred by election on the annual ballot. The 2007 winners are: J. Derek Bewley, University of Guelph, Canada; Wilhelm Gruissem, ETH Zurich, Switzerland; and Patricia M. Léon, Instituto de Biotecnologia, UNAM.

Excellence in Teaching Award This award was initiated in 1988 to recognize outstanding teaching in plant biology. It is an award to be made not more than triennially in recognition of excellence in teaching, leadership in curricular development, or authorship of effective teaching materials in the science of plant biology. Roger Hangarter, Indiana University, is the 2007 ASPB Excellence in Teaching Award recipient.

Martin Gibbs Medal The Martin Gibbs Medal was instituted by the Society's executive committee in 1993 to honor Martin Gibbs, editor of Plant Physiology from 1963 to 1993. The Gibbs Medal is presented biennially to an individual who has pioneered advances that have served to establish new directions of investigation in the plant sciences. The winner receives the medal and is invited to convene a Martin Gibbs Medal Symposium at the annual meeting the following year. Richard A. Jorgensen, University of Arizona, has been awarded the 2007 Martin Gibbs Medal for his pioneering work leading to the discovery of RNA interference (RNAi).

Stephen Hales Prize This award honors the Reverend Stephen Hales for his pioneering work in plant biology published in his 1727 book Vegetable Staticks. It is an annual monetary award established in 1927 for a scientist, whether or not a member of the Society, who has served the science of plant biology in some noteworthy manner. The recipient of the award is invited to address the Society on a subject in plant biology at the next annual meeting. The 2007 winner is Sarah Hake of the Plant Gene Expression Center for her pioneering contributions to our fundamental understanding of plant developmental biology that span the scientific disciplines of evolution, genetics, cell biology, and plant molecular biology.

Early Career Award The Early Career Award was instituted by the Society's executive committee in 2005 to recognize outstanding research by scientists at the beginning of their careers. This award is a monetary award made annually for exceptionally creative, independent contributions by a member of the Society who is not more than five years post-Ph.D. on January 1st of the year of the presentation. Elena Shpak, University of Tennessee was selected for the 2007 Early Career Award because of her outstanding accomplishments in two different areas of research in plant cell and molecular biology and her potential for continued creative contribution. She is recognized for achievements in both plant biochemistry and plant development.

ASPB-Pioneer Hi-Bred International Graduate Student Prize This award, made possible by the generosity of Pioneer Hi-Bred International (, recognizes and encourages innovative graduate research and innovation in areas of plant biology that relate to important commodity crops. Three $5,000 prizes will be given annually from 2006 through 2009, with an additional $1,000 awarded for prize recipients attending the ASPB annual meeting in the year of their award. Each nominee must attend a U.S.-accredited college or university and must demonstrate interest in the study of plant biology or a related discipline. Each nominee must be a Ph.D. candidate—i.e., have successfully passed their preliminary examinations, must demonstrate an excellent academic record, and must be a member of ASPB. An individual may receive this prize only once. The 2007 winner is Nicola Harrison-Lowe, a graduate student at the University of Michigan in the laboratory of Laura Olsen. Nicola graduated with honors from Eastern Michigan University with a B.S. in Chemistry and Biology


Full descriptions of each of the awardees’ work along with photos can be found at

Founded in 1924, ASPB (formerly known as the American Society of Plant Physiologists), is headquartered in Rockville, Maryland. This professional society has a membership of approximately 5,000 plant scientists from the United States and more than 50 other nations. ASPB publishes two of the most widely cited plant science journals in the world, Plant Cell and Plant Physiology.


Brian Hyps / 301.251.0560 ext 114 / 240.354.5160 (c)
Katie Engen / 301.251.0560 ext 116

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