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Anton Lang Award

Date & Location: April 24, 2023, at 4p

Location: PBL 247

Zoom: https://msu.zoom.us/j/95996313892
Meeting ID: 959 9631 3892
Passcode: 862930


Using Gas Exchange Measurements to Study Photosynthesis Regulation

Thomas D. Sharkey

Thomas D. Sharkey is a University Distinguished Professor at Michigan State University. He joined the university in 2008, where his research focuses on the exchange of gases between plants and the atmosphere, as well as carbon metabolism of photosynthesis. Some of his notable achievements include the measurement of the carbon dioxide concentration inside leaves, an exhaustive study of short-term feedback effects in carbon metabolism, and a significant contribution to elucidation of the pathway by which leaf starch breaks down at night. In the isoprene research field, his laboratory has cloned many of the genes that underlie isoprene synthesis, and he has published many important papers on the biochemical regulation of isoprene synthesis.

Sharkey became a Professor and the Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at MSU in 2008. In 2017, he stepped down as chair and joined the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory, where he obtained his Ph.D. 28 years before. Additionally, Sharkey is currently the Interim Director of the MSU Plant Resilience Institute.

In 2014, Sharkey was named an Outstanding Faculty member by MSU. He is an emeritus Professor of Botany at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is a fellow of the American Society of Plant Biologists and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Anton Lang Memorial Fund

Anton Lang, founding Director of the Plant Research Laboratory (PRL) at Michigan State University, died on June 24, 1996. The Anton Lang Memorial Fund was established in his honor by friends and former coworkers. Proceeds from this fund are being used to support the annual Anton Lang Memorial Lecture and to recognize each year a graduate student and a postdoctoral research associate who exemplify the research excellence, ideals, dedication, and vision of Anton Lang. Postdoctoral and graduate student awardees are selected on the basis of research carried out while at MSU. The lecturer is chosen by the PRL Seminar Committee, and the Personnel Affairs Committee of the PRL selects the student and postdoctoral awardees.  Each award consists of a cash prize and an inscribed gift; in addition, the names of the lecturer and awardees will be on permanent display in the PRL.

Anton Lang

Anton Lang was born in 1913 in St. Petersburg, Russia. He received his Doctor of Science degree at the University of Berlin in 1939, specializing in plant biology. He held research positions in Berlin and Tübingen until his emigration in 1949, first to Canada and then to the U.S. Dr. Lang was on the faculty of the University of California at Los Angeles from 1952 to 1959 and of the California Institute of Technology from 1959 to 1965. In 1965, he moved to Michigan State University to become the first Director of the Plant Research Laboratory. He oversaw construction of the building, hired the original faculty, and set the tone of the PRL in ways that are still felt today, particularly with respect to collective responsibility for excellence in research and related scholarly activities. Under his leadership, the PRL became one of the world centers for research and training in plant biology. Anton Lang retired as Director of the Laboratory in 1978 and as Professor Emeritus in 1983. He authored over 120 papers, dealing mainly with the ways by which plants optimize their time of flowering in response to environmental cues. His scientific accomplishments brought him numerous honors. In 1967, he became the first MSU faculty member to be elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and in 1976, he received the MSU Distinguished Faculty Award. He was recognized with the Stephen Hales Prize and the Charles Barnes Life Membership Award of the American Society of Plant Physiologists, both in 1976, and with an honorary doctorate from the University of Glasgow. He was a member of the German Academy of Natural Scientists and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Anton Lang belonged to a group of eminent plant physiologists who profoundly influenced the field through their research, writings, and public service. For 25 years, he was managing editor of Planta, one of the premier journals in experimental plant biology, and was an editor of the Encyclopedia of Plant Physiology. From 1971 to 1974, he chaired the National Academy Committee on the Use of Herbicides in Vietnam, an effort that included field work in that war-torn country. 

Anton Lang Memorial Award Recipients

Graduate Students

1998:  Harley Smith
1999:  Philipp Kapranov
2000:  Mark Johnson
2001:  Jim Kastenmayer
2002:  Diane Jackson-Constan
2003:  Lei Li
2004:  Wayne Riekhof
2005:  Tony Schilmiller
2006:  Hiroshi Maeda
2007:  William Underwood
2008:  Leron Katsir
2009:  Michael Ruckle
2010:  Eric Moellering
2011:  Sankalpi Warnasooriya
2012:  Kyaw Aung
2013:  John Withers
2014:  Ya-Ni Chen
2015:  Chia-Hong Tsai
2016:  Li Zhang
2017:  Joshua MacCready
2018:  Eric Poliner
2019:  Ben Mansfeld
2020:  Kellie Walters
2021:  Evan Angelos
2022:  Phil Engelgau
2023:  Hannah Parks

Research Associate Award

1998:  Hyung-Taeg Cho
1999:  Diane Bassham
2000:  Anton Sanderfoot
2001:  John Froehlich
2002:  Qiao-Ling Jin
2003:  Roger Thilmony
2004:  Jeong Hoe Kim
2005:  Dongsu Choi
2006:  Hui Chen
2007:  Fred Beisson
2008:  Kinya Nomura
2009:  Yan Lu 
2010:  Jeong-Kyu (Abe) Koo
2011:  Tony Schilmiller
2012:   Weiqing Zeng
2013:  Rebecca Roston
2014:  Giovanni Stefano
2015:  Christopher Oakley
2016:  Ian Major
2017:  Clement Aussignargues
2018:  Han Bao
2019:  Luciana Renna
2020: Bryan Ferlez
2021:  Hainan Zhao
2022:  Peipei Wang
2023:  Maria Del Carmen Santos Merino

Seminar Lecturers

1998:  Maarten J. Chrispeels 
1999:  Winslow R. Briggs 
2000:  Peter Quail
2001:  Russell L. Jones 
2002:  Deborah Delmer 
2003:  Andrew Hanson 
2004:  Jan Zeevaart
2005:  Hans Kende 
2006:  Ove Nilsson
2007:  Mark Estelle
2008:  William Lucas 
2009:  Richard Amasino 
2010:  Sarah Hake
2011:  Postponed
2012:  Joanne Chory
2013:  Natasha Raikhel 
2014:   Alan M. Jones
2015:  Diana Kirilovsky
2016:  Julia Bailey-Serres
2017:  Richard Vierstra
2018:  Kazuo Shinozaki
2019:  Jorge Dubcovsky
2020: Michael Thomashow
2021:  John Shanklin
2022: Govindjee
2023:  Thomas D. Sharkey