2017 Anton Lang Memorial Award Winners Announced
- May 26, 2017
- Future Scientists
- By Igor Houwat
Clement Aussignargues and Joshua MacCready were awarded the Anton Lang Memorial Award during a ceremony which took place on Monday, May 8, 2017 at the Molecular Plant Sciences building.
The Anton Lang Memorial Fund was established in honor of the founding director of the Plant Research Laboratory, 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, 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, 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.”
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.
Luciana Renna and Ben Mansfeld were both recognized as scientists who exemplify the research excellence, ideas, dedication, and vision of former PRL director, Anton Lang.
Han Bao and Eric Poliner have won the 2018 Anton Lang Memorial Award.
Ian Major, Ph.D., and Li Zhang have each received the Anton Lang Memorial Award for cross-disciplinary research on plant defense.