Christoph Benning is named University Distinguished Professor
Dr. Christoph Benning has been promoted to University Distinguished Professor. He is among ten Michigan State University faculty members who have earned the distinction this year.
The title of University Distinguished Professor is among the highest honors that can be bestowed on a faculty member by the university. Those selected for the title have been recognized nationally and internationally for the importance of their teaching, research and outreach achievements.
Benning is a recognized leader in research on lipid metabolism in photosynthetic organisms. One area of particular interest is the assembly and maintenance of the photosynthetic membrane in plants and algae. The photosynthetic membrane contains a unique set of polar lipids. The Benning lab studies the biosynthesis and movement of lipids of the photosynthetic membrane. Specific functions of these lipids in photosynthesis, especially during dynamic conditions, is investigated by applying state-of-the-art phenotyping to Arabidopsis and Chlamydomonas lipid mutants.
Benning is also engaged in mentoring the next generation of scientists and interested in advancing science communication.
“I am truly honored by this promotion and would like to thank everyone who worked tirelessly with me, the students, post docs, staff members and collaborators, in advancing our understanding of lipids in photosynthetic organisms,” says Benning.
The MSU Board of Trustees voted on and approved their ten recommendations on June 21. Those holding the professorship will receive, in addition to their salary, a stipend of $5,000 per year for five years to support professional activities.
A reception to honor the newly designated University Distinguished Professors will be held on November 21, 2019.
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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.