A slew of student awards in July
Li Zhang, a PhD student in the He lab, was awarded the 2016 Bessey Best Publication Award from the Plant Biology Graduate Committee for her work on plant defense against pathogens. The award is for grad students who have published a first-authored paper in the calendar year, based on research carried out primarily during graduate studies at MSU.
Adam Seroka, Alshae Logan, and Evan Angelos were each awarded The Plant Biotechnology Health and Sustainability Fellowship. This NIH funded program supports researchers interested in advancing plant science for the betterment of mankind, either by directly improving health and nutrition or by aiding in sustainable agricultural practices. Among the benefits of winning the award is an internship at an industry, non-governmental, or governmental institution. Current industry partners include Neogen, Syngenta, and Lucigen, among other big names. Go here for more program information.
Adam, from the He lab, is examining the regulatory mechanism underlying plant movement in response to biotic (living) and abiotic (nonliving) stimuli.
Alshae, from the Montgomery lab, is studying a recently discovered second messenger molecule, cyclic-di-AMP, which might play a central role in combating stress from osmosis, a stress that is becoming a common problem for cyanobacteria in their habitats.
Evan, from the Brandizzi lab, is collaborating with NASA scientists to see how plants respond to gravity changes and spaceflight. He will be launching mutant plants to the International Space Station on Space-X Flight 12 in June 2017 to understand why plants do not grow well in space. In other words… space plants!
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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded the Michigan State University-DOE Plant Research Laboratory a three-year (2020-2023), $11.25 million DOE Office of Basic Energy Sciences competitive renewal grant to continue its innovative photosynthesis research.
Scientists have established a new method to quantify how much cyanobacteria assimilate carbon in the process of photosynthesis. The method assesses carbon assimilation over a stretch of time. It also better factors in a wider range of environmental variables, such as changing carbon dioxide (CO2) levels or varying light intensities.
Benning is featured on the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science's 'First-Person Science' series, where scientists describe how they made significant discoveries over years of research.