Three AgBioResearch scientists receive ASPB awards

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The American Society for Plant Biologists (ASPB) recognized three AgBioResearch scientists for their contributions to plant biology at its annual meeting in Hawaii. The awards were presented on July 18 during the ASPB 2009 Plant Biology Awards Ceremony.

John Ohlrogge, Robert Last and Michael Thomashow received ASPB society fellowship awards for “distinguished and long-term contributions to plant biology in areas that include research, education, mentoring, outreach and professional and public service.”

John OhlroggeJohn Ohlrogge, MAES plant biology scientist, also received the Martin Gibbs Medal for “advances that have served to establish new directions of investigation “

“The outstanding people I¬íve worked with and the great resources at MSU made this award possible,” Ohlrogge said. “MSU is known worldwide for its excellence basic plant sciences and attracts the very best students and post-doctoral researchers. The support of MSU administration in providing funds for state-of-the-art equipment and facilities has played a key role in our advances.”

Ohlrogge’s medal is for his plant oil synthesis research. Oils from plant seeds are a fundamental source of calories for the human diet and are useful in industry, such as being a key component in biofuels. Ohlrogge said MSU was one of the first universities to recognize that high-throughput DNA sequencing—a technology that has significantly accelerated biological research and discovery by determining DNA nucleotide sequences by the thousands or even millions—could revolutionize the plant science field.

Michael ThomashowMichael Thomashow , director of the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory, served as president of ASPB in 2005. He has also been an editorial board member for various society publications.

“I am greatly honored to have been elected a fellow of the society,” Thomashow said. “The ASPB is widely acknowledged for its leadership role in advancing research and education in the plant sciences both in the United States and internationally.”

AgBioResearch biochemistry and molecular biology researcher Robert has been a member of ASPB for nearly 20 years. He has remained active in the society and industry by hosting lectures, writing on the organization’s editorial board, maintaining relationships with government offices, various industry committees and holding editor-in-chief positions for ASPB publications.

“The ASPB is a terrific organization that does great things for the community of plant biologists and society as a whole,” Last said. “I am honored to be associated with this organization and all of its members at MSU and around the world.”

Robert LastThe ASPB was founded in 1924 to promote the growth and development of plant biology, to encourage and publish research in plant biology, and to promote the interests and growth of plant scientists in general. It publishes the highly-cited and respected journals Plant Physiology and The Plant Cell. ASPB membership spans six continents, with members working in such diverse areas as academia, government laboratories, and industrial and commercial environments.

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