2018 Anton Lang Memorial Award Winners Announced

  • Jun 11, 2018
  • Benning lab, Kerfeld lab, awards
  • Future Scientists
  • By Igor Houwat

Han Bao and Eric Poliner were awarded the 2018 Anton Lang Memorial Award during a ceremony which took place on Monday, May 14, 2018 at the Molecular Plant Sciences building.

The Anton Lang Memorial Fund was established in honor of the founding director of the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory (PRL), who passed away in 1996. Proceeds from the fund go towards annually supporting the Anton Lang Memorial Lecture – given this year by Dr. Kazuo Shinozaki from the RIKEN Center, Japan – and recognizing a graduate student and a postdoctoral research associate who exemplify the research excellence, ideas, dedication, and vision of Anton Lang.

Han, from the lab of Cheryl Kerfeld, won the post-doc award. She studies the molecular basis of photosynthesis, particularly photoprotection. Her current project is to study the Orange Carotenoid Protein (OCP) mediated non-photochemical quenching mechanism of cyanobacteria. She and her colleagues have discovered new families of the OCP with different photoprotective properties.

Han Bao in the lab
Han Bao
Courtesy of Kerfeld lab

“I want to say thank the PRL for selecting me for this award,” Han says. “The PRL is such a great place for doing research. I am so grateful to work in this creative and collaborative environment. I would not have won this award without the support of Cheryl [Kerfeld] and the Kerfeld lab.”

Eric, previously in the labs of Christoph Benning and Eva Farré, won the graduate student award for his work on synthetic biology tools for microalgae.

Eric says, “Thank you to all the mentors, lab mates, and collaborators that have helped and encouraged me along the way."

“I am pleased about the selection of the two outstanding awardees by the PRL Personnel Affairs Committee based on their recent accomplishments and scientific excellence. I would like to congratulate Han and Eric on behalf of all members of the PRL and wish them good luck for their future endeavors”, says Christoph Benning, Director of the PRL.

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 building.

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