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Hans Kende Award

Hans Kende
Hans Kende

An endowment was established with contributions received in the memory of Dr. Hans Kende. Through agreement with the Kende family and representatives of the Plant Research Laboratory and Michigan State University (MSU), funds from this endowment provide an annual award for the best doctoral dissertation in the plant sciences at MSU during the preceding two years. The awardee receives a monetary award and is invited to return to MSU to present a seminar during the fall Molecular Plant Sciences Seminar Series. Thesis topics have included any level of biological organization in plants, ranging from molecules to ecosystems.

Hans Kende

Dr. Hans Jànos Kende was a University Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the DOE Plant Research Laboratory (PRL) and the Department of Plant Biology at Michigan State University. Kende earned his Ph.D. at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. He conducted postdoctoral research in Canada, the US and Israel before joining the faculty of the newly established PRL in 1965. He remained at the PRL for forty years, serving as director from 1985-88. Kende’s dedication to excellence in research mentoring is celebrated with a lecture series at MSU.

Kende studied plant hormones – particularly gibberellins, cytokinins and ethylene – and their action in plants. He and his associates developed an enzyme assay for ACC-synthase and isolated an ethylene-resistant mutant in Arabidopsis that led to the isolation of the first hormone receptor in plants. His group also established deepwater rice as a model organism to study the action of plant hormones in stem elongation.

Kende served on the editorial boards of eight scientific journals and on review panels for the National Science Foundation and the US Departments of Energy and Agriculture. Among many honors bestowed on Kende were a Guggenheim Fellowship (1972-73); election to the German Academy of Natural Sciences (1985), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1990) and the US National Academy of Sciences (1992); the MSU Distinguished Professor Awards (1994); Medal for Research Excellence, International Plant Growth Substances Association (1995); Honorary Doctorate Degree in Science, University of Fribourg, Switzerland (1995); Stephen Hales Prize, American Society of Plant Physiologists (1998) and Barnes Lectureship, University of Chicago (1998).

News Archive

Past Recipients

2008: William Underwood
2009: Leron Katsir
2010: Hoo Sun Chung
2011: Eric Moellering
2012: Kyaw Aung
2013: Xiaobo Li
2014: John Withers
2015: Deserah Strand
2016: Marcelo Campos
2017: Bethany Huot
2018: Keny Wang
2019: Ya-Shiuan Lai
2020: Teresa Clark
2021: Jingcheng Huang
2022: Donghee Hoh
2023: Leah Johnson