2017 Anton Lang Memorial Award Winners Announced

Clement Aussignargues and Joshua MacCready were awarded the Anton Lang Memorial Award during a ceremony which took place on Monday, May 8, 2016 at the Molecular Plant Sciences building.

The Anton Lang Memorial Fund was established in honor of the founding director of the Plant Research Laboratory (pictured above), who passed away in 1996. Proceeds from the fund go towards annually supporting the Anton Lang Memorial Lecture – given this year by Dr. Richard Vierstra from Washington University in St. Louis – and recognizing a graduate student and a postdoctoral research associate who exemplify the research excellence, ideas, dedication, and vision of Anton Lang.

Clement Aussignargues

Clement, from the Kerfeld lab, won the post-doc award. The Kerfeld lab wants to repurpose microcompartments, found in a wide range of bacteria, as tailored nano-factories to produce chemicals and renewable energy (like biofuels or medicine).

Clement was able to engineer a building block of the microcompartment’s outer shell to bind a metal cofactor, which allows electrons to move to and from these microcompartments. The finding is a major step towards controlling desired chemical reactions within those microcompartments.

“Receiving this Memorial Award and being part of the PRL’s history is a tremendous honor for which I am extremely grateful,” Clement said. “The collaborative aspect in this project (inside and outside of the PRL) was very important, and without it, it would have been extremely difficult to complete this work.”

Josh MacCready

Josh, from the Ducat lab, won the graduate student award. “I’m pleased to have been selected for such an honor,” Josh said, “I owe many thanks to the PRL and the entire plant biology community at MSU for helping me succeed.”

Josh studies how protein-self organization controls the positioning of cellular division in cyanobacteria.

The awardees received an engraved rosewood piano finish clock, a cash reward, and their names have been added to a permanent award plaque located in the Plant Biology Laboratories.