Awards & Honors Ceremony Tuesday, July 31 5:30–6:30 PM Welcome and Introductions Jan Leach, APS President APS Early Career Recognition Jan Leach, APS President • International Travel Award • 7th I.E. Melhus Symposium Presenters • Student Travel Awards • APS Public Policy Early Career Internship Presentation of the APS Awards John Andrews, APS Past President • APS Fellows • Excellence in Extension Award • Excellence in Industry Award • Excellence in Teaching Award • International Service Award • Ruth Allen Award • William Boright Hewitt and Maybelle Ellen Ball Hewitt Award • Noel T. Keen for Research in Molecular Plant Pathology Award • Syngenta Award Allison Tally, Syngenta Crop Protection • Award of Distinction
APS Early Career Recognition International Travel Award
Student Travel Awards
The Foundation, in cooperation with the Office of International Programs, has established this travel fund to support travel costs for early- to mid-career international APS members to participate in an APS annual meeting. This fund is intended to support scientists native to and working in developing countries that otherwise would not be able to attend APS meetings.
The APS Foundation is pleased to provide APS Annual Meeting Named Student Travel Awards to the following 39 individuals, selected out of a competitive pool of more than 70 applicants.
Maria Mercedes Roca Escuela Agric Panamericana Zamorano, Honduras
7th I.E. Melhus Graduate Student Symposium: Emerging and Changing Viral Pathogens— Biology and Molecular Mechanisms This prestigious symposium features presentations on graduate thesis research heralding novel approaches to understanding or managing plant disease pathosystems. The symposium is named in honor of Irving E. Melhus, a renowned teacher and outstanding researcher and pioneer in the field of plant pathology at what was then Iowa State College. Speakers for this symposium were chosen by an ad-hoc selection committee. The following six students were selected from a pool of applicants to present their research findings during this symposium.
Li-Fang Chen University of California-Davis
Vihanga Pahalawatta Washington State University
Subhas Hajeri University of California-Riverside
Priya Raja Ohio State University
The José and Silvia Amador Award María del Pilar MarquezVillavicencio University of Wisconsin-Madison
The Elsie J. and Robert Aycock Award Brantlee Spakes Richter North Carolina State University
The William Malcolm Brown, Jr. Award Douglas Miano Louisiana State University
The J. Artie and Arra Browning Award Vineeta Bilgi North Dakota State University
The J. Artie and Arra Browning Award Anas Eranthodi University of Illinois
The C. Lee Campbell Award Susan Colucci North Carolina State University
The Caribbean Division Award Carlos Pérez University of Minnesota
The Gustaaf A. and Ineke de Zoeten Award Jessica Koczan Michigan State University
The Eddie Echandi Award Cary Rivard North Carolina State University
Xiojun Hu University of Idaho
Lucy Stewart University of California-Davis
APS Early Career Recognition
The Zahir Eyal Award Guillaume Erard University College Dublin
The John F. Fulkerson Award Laura Wakefield Cornell University
The Joseph P. Fulton Award Barbara Boine University of Auckland
The Robert W. Fulton Award Ching-Yi Lin National Chung Hsing Universityn
The Richard L. Gabrielson Award Joshua Cobb Brigham Young University
The Janell Stevens Johnk Angela Madeiras University of Rhode Island
The Stephen A. Johnston Award Christopher Gee Cornell University
The Arthur Kelman Award Melanie Lewis Ivey Ohio State University
The Tsune Kosuge Award Jessica Calcote Texas A&M University
The Landis International Award Kirk Broders Ohio State University
The Don E. Mathre Award Nidhi Sharma University of Alberta
The William J. Moller Award Jose Ramon Urbez-Torres University of California-Davis
The Donald E. Munnecke Award Adam Sparks Kansas State University
The John S. Niederhauser Award Michelle Moyer Cornell University
The Albert Paulus Award Tamding Wangdi Oklahoma State University
The Malcolm and Catherine Quigley Award Zhihan Xu Iowa State University
The Milt and Nancy Schroth Award Courtney Jahn University of Wisconsin-Madison
The Malcolm C. Shurtleff Award Michael Wunsch Cornell University
APS Early Career Recognition
The George Herman Starr Award Kiersten Wise North Dakota State University
The H. David Thurston Award Craig Austin Cornell University
The Virology Award Tom Oben University of Ibadan
The Virology Award Thanuja Thekke Veetil University of Illinois
APS Council Award Mirella Aoun University of Laval
APS Council Award MarĂa Soledad BenĂtez Ohio State University
APS Council Award Ana Paula Dias Iowa State University
APS Council Award Edwin Palencia University of Georgia
APS Council Award Sunjung Park Louisiana State University
APS Council Award Angela Records Texas A&M University
APS Council Award Lindsay Triplett Michigan State University
APS Council Award Bindhya Chal Yadav Indian Institute of Technology
APS Public Policy Early Career Internship
Kim Webb STA Laboratories
The goal of the APS Public Policy Early Career Internship is to provide an opportunity for the selected individual to gain hands-on experience in public policy at the national level that relates generally to agricultural science and specifically to matters of interest to APS. By working with the APS PPB, the intern learns how scientific societies, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), executive branch agencies (e.g., USDA, NSF, EPA, etc.), and the legislative branch interact in crafting public policy.
APS Awards APS Fellows The Society grants this honor to a current APS member in recognition of distinguished contributions to plant pathology or to The American Phytopathological Society. Charles W. Bacon earned his B.S. degree in biology and chemistry at Clark College, Atlanta, GA, in 1965 and his Ph.D. degree in botany (fungal physiology) from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1972. He presently is a research microbiologist at the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) R. B. Russell Agricultural Research Center in Athens, GA. He is a recognized world authority in the area of fungal endophytes. His research interests include fungal endophyte-grass symbioses, biological plant protection, regulation and biosynthesis of mycotoxins, and roles of mycotoxins in coevolution of mutualistic symbiotic fungi and their host plants. One of the most cited papers in this exciting area is Bacon’s 1977 classic reporting of the discovery of an endophytic fungus (which he later named Neotyphodium coenophialum) as the cause of tall fescue toxicity to livestock. Bacon has had major roles in initiating and leading projects that have resulted in the discovery of other endophytic fungi of weed grass species and their ecological consequences to grasses and in establishing the concept of endophytes as mutualistic symbionts of major ecological and agronomic importance. He extended the concept of endophytism to include the Fusarium verticillioides–corn interaction and discovered a new species of endophytic bacterium, Bacillus mojavensis, which has since been patented for plant protection. In 1984, Bacon was part of a team who received the USDA Superior Service Award, and in 2000, he was given the Distinguished Scientist of the Year Award by ARS in recognition of his lifetime achievements in establishing endophytic microorganisms as basic and applied tools for agricultural research. A fungal grass endophyte, Epichloe baconii, was named in recognition of his contributions in the field of fungal endophytes. David Glenn Gilchrist graduated from the University of Illinois with degrees in biological science (B.S.) and agronomy (M.S.) and from the University of Nebraska with his Ph.D. degree in genetics. He joined the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of California, Davis, as a NIH postdoctoral fellow and was appointed to the faculty in 1975. His research program has emphasized the role and mechanisms of programmed cell death (PCD), or apoptosis, in plant disease and the genetic regulation and biochemical response of plants to infection triggered by mycotoxins. Much of this work has utilized the interaction of tomato with Alternaria alternata f. sp. lycopersici. Key discoveries include purification and characterization of the host-selective AAL toxin, development of sensitive toxin detection methods, characterization of the effects of toxin on host tissue, and genetic analyses of toxin action. A seminal contribution of his research is the discovery of hallmark features of apoptosis in plants. His research is highly interdisciplinary in scope and has fostered collaborations enabling expansion of his research on apoptosis into animal and human biology. These collaborations have enhanced our capabilities for studies of susceptibility in plant disease. He has contributed extensively in teaching, service, and outreach, including contributions to APS directly or through programs that impact APS and its membership. Notable is his role as director of the NSF-funded Partnership for Plant Genomics
Education (PPGE). The PPGE has developed novel educational software, curricular materials, and laboratory kits for training teachers and students in biotechnology, reaching thousands of high school biology students and scores of teachers over the past decade. James H. Graham, Jr. received his B.S. degree in biology from the University of California, Irvine, and his Ph.D. degree from Oregon State University in 1980, working on mycorrhizae and soilborne diseases. He spent 2 years as a postdoctoral fellow at University of California, Riverside. In 1981, he was appointed assistant professor of soil microbiology at the University of Florida, Citrus Research and Education Center and has spent his career there. Initially, he worked on soilborne pathogens, such as Phytophthora spp., and developed methods for the assay of P. nicotianae and determined its effects on yields of citrus. He demonstrated that P. palmivora was responsible for epidemics of brown rot of fruit, attacked roots of resistant rootstocks, and caused a serious tree decline in association with the root weevil, Diaprepes abbreviatus. Graham’s program on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi has emphasized the costs and benefits to the host. He demonstrated the carbon cost of symbiotic mycorrhizal fungi and that, in agroecosystems, these fungi are potentially parasitic. When citrus canker was introduced into Florida, Graham investigated the survival, epidemiology, and strain relationships in xanthomonads attacking citrus. His research showed that citrus bacterial spot was caused by a weak pathogen and only affected nurseries, resulting in the discontinuation of eradication of that disease. With coworkers, he demonstrated the need to remove trees exposed to canker in larger areas to be able to eliminate the disease. After hurricanes made eradication impossible, he developed programs to manage the disease. Graham has established himself as an authority on canker and his advice is sought by regulatory agencies, extension personnel, and citrus industries worldwide. Raymond Hammerschmidt was born in Oak Park, IL, in 1952. He received a B.S. degree in biochemistry (1974) from Purdue University, where, as an undergraduate, he was involved in some of the first research on induced resistance. He received his M.S. in plant pathology from Purdue in 1976 and his Ph.D. in plant pathology from the University of Kentucky in 1980. Between 1980 and 1991, he was promoted from assistant and associate to full professor in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology at Michigan State University (MSU). During the past 25 years, Hammerschmidt has become globally recognized for his outstanding pioneering research on induced resistance to fungal and bacterial pathogens. Hammerschmidt has also made significant contributions to the MSU potato-breeding program through development of disease-resistant varieties. He also represents the discipline as an especially enthusiastic and effective instructor. After serving as acting chair of the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, he was appointed as the first chair of the new Department of Plant Pathology in 2002. The development of this department, in an era of mergers, would never have taken place without Hammerschmidt’s tireless leadership. He currently serves as North Central APS councilor and is coordinator of the MSU Diagnostic Services and director of the North Central Plant Diagnostic Network. In these roles, he has had a significant involvement in the evolution of the National Plant Diagnostic Network. Hammerschmidt is in high demand as a speaker and reviewer for regional, national, international, and institutional initiatives.
APS Awards Rosemarie Wahnbaeck Hammond was born July 13, 1953, in Houston, TX. She received a B.S. degree in botany from Miami University, Oxford, OH, in 1975. She then received her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in botany in 1977 and 1981, respectively, from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She spent 2 years as a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology at Purdue University, where she studied protease inhibitors in soybean. In 1983, she joined the Department of Biology, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and in cooperative research with the USDA-ARS Plant Virology Laboratory, performed pioneering research on viroid structure/function relationships. The team of Hammond, Robert Owens, and Ted Diener made viroids tractable research agents and made numerous fundamental and practical contributions to our knowledge of viroids. In 1988, Hammond joined the USDA-ARS Molecular Plant Pathology Laboratory, Beltsville, MD, as a research plant pathologist. There, she continued research on viroids and established a highly successful research program on several economically important plant viruses. She has recently developed plant virus-based vectors to engineer strategies for control of plant diseases and for production of therapeutic reagents for control of animal diseases. Hammond has an amazingly diverse and successful research career. She is an excellent collaborator and, professionally, she served APS as a member of the Plant Virology Committee (currently chair) and as associate editor for Plant Disease, served as an international consultant for IAEA and USAID, and served as principal plant pathologist for USDA CSREES. Nancy Keller was born in Bellafonte, PA. She received her undergraduate degree in biological sciences from Pennsylvania State University in 1977 and her graduate degrees in plant pathology at Cornell University. She is currently a professor of plant pathology at the University of Wisconsin. Her research focus lies in genetically dissecting those aspects of Aspergillus spp. that render them potent pathogens and superb natural product (secondary metabolite) producers. Although originally focused on the regulation of mycotoxin gene expression in Aspergillus spp., her laboratoryâ€™s research has expanded to include elucidation of fungal sporulation and host/pathogen interactionsâ€”processes intimately linked to secondary metabolite (e.g., mycotoxin) production. Her approach has been to use the genetic model Aspergillus nidulans to elucidate important biological processes in this genus and then extrapolate this information to the plant pathogens A. flavus and A. parasiticus and, more recently, to the human pathogen A. fumigatus. Her distinguished scholarly contributions are in multiple areas of fungal biology: 1) establishment of a cluster motif for secondary metabolite genes and regulation of genes therein; 2) genetic linkage of sporulation and secondary metabolism that occurs through a shared G protein/cAMP/protein kinase A cascade; 3) epigenetic control of secondary metabolite gene clusters; 4) role of the protein LaeA in A. fumigatus virulence; 5) gene silencing processes (RNA interference) in fungi; and 6) host/fungus signaling mediated by oxylipins. Keller travels widely as an invited university lecturer and conference speaker or organizer (most notably as forthcoming chair of the fungal biology Gordon Conference, 2008).
Steven A. Lommel was born in Modesto, CA. He completed his B.S. degree at the University of San Francisco in 1978 and his M.S. (1981) and Ph.D. (1983) degrees in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of CaliforniaBerkeley under the direction of T. Jack Morris. He became an assistant professor of plant pathology at Kansas State University in 1983. In 1988, he moved to the Department of Plant Pathology at North Carolina State University, where he was appointed full professor in 1995. Lommel is an international authority on plant virus pathogenesis, evolution, and taxonomy. He is widely recognized for his molecular characterization of Red clover necrotic mosaic virus, making this member of the plant dianthoviruses among the best characterized of any bipartite RNA plant virus. Significant research accomplishments include elucidation of the molecular mechanisms of plant viral movement proteins and the identification of in trans RNAâ€“RNA interactions regulating virus gene expression. His current research on virus structure is leading to applications for the use of plant viruses as nanocargo vessels for delivery of therapeutics to cancer cells. He has served on the editorial boards of Phytopathology, MPMI, and Virology and currently is an editor of Virus Research. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed scholarly research articles and holds three patents. He has held administrative appointments as assistant director of the North Carolina Agricultural Research Service and associate vice chancellor for research and has served as a scientific advisor to EPA and on numerous scientific boards. Matteo Lorito was born in Salerno, Italy, in 1961. He received his doctorate in biology cum laude at the University of Siena. He has been assistant and associate and is presently full professor of plant pathology at the University of Naples. He has served as tutor for more than 40 Ph.D. and bachelor theses. In the faculty of agriculture, he is the senior editor of the annals and director of Erasmus and Socrates International Exchange Student Programs. Lorito is an internationally recognized authority on Trichoderma species and has made a fundamental contribution to the understanding of the relationship between biocontrol fungi, pathogens, and plants. He has discovered signaling molecules that regulate these interactions and antimicrobial genes useful for increasing plant disease resistance. He has also contributed to the development of new biopesticide and biofertilizer products. Since 1990, he has published about 90 papers in reviewed journals, many with a high impact factor, and 20 book chapters and is author of 14 patents or patent applications. He has been invited as speaker or chair in more than 100 congresses, seminars, and other occasions. He serves APS in the Phytopathology News Advisory Board and the Biological Control Committee. He has been the European editor for the IS-MPMI Reporter and is associate editor of MPMI. He has received several honors, including fellowships from OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) and the Fulbright Research Program. He is on the Board of Directors of the Italian Society of Plant Pathology and chair of the 13th International Congress on Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions.
APS Awards William E. MacHardy is a native of Maine. He obtained his Ph.D. degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1970, where he worked with both Frank Howard and Carl Beckman. MacHardy was already an accomplished and respected researcher of vascular wilt diseases when he arrived at the University of New Hampshire as an assistant professor in 1972. He was promoted to associate professor in 1977, promoted to professor in 1985, and appointed professor emeritus in August 2001. In 1978, he refocused his research on the epidemiology of apple scab, and it is for this that he is perhaps best known today. Scab had always required intensive spraying to prevent infection. MacHardy relentlessly generated critical knowledge to fill gaps that stymied improved disease management. The simplicity and elegance of his solutions to intractable problems belied the creativity and hard work involved in their development. His simple, user-friendly models have been validated, refined, adapted, and translated into many languages and can be found in apple IPM systems worldwide. His APS PRESS book Apple Scab: Biology, Epidemiology, and Management is recognized as the single most comprehensive treatment ever published by The American Phytopathological Society on a major plant disease. MacHardyâ€™s students and colleagues know him as a dedicated mentor who has served his society as editor, officer, and author. He received the Award of Merit in 1996, the highest honor bestowed by the Northeastern Division of APS. For his many and valuable contributions, he is a particularly deserving nominee for fellow of The American Phytopathological Society. W. Allen Miller was born and raised in River Forest, IL. He graduated cum laude with a B.A. degree with distinction in biology from Carleton College in 1978. In 1984, he earned a Ph.D. degree in molecular biology from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, in the laboratory of Timothy C. Hall. There, he discovered the main mechanism by which positive-strand RNA viruses synthesize subgenomic mRNAs. From 1984 to 1988, Miller was a research scientist in the laboratory of Wayne L. Gerlach and Peter M. Waterhouse at the CSIRO Division of Plant Industry in Canberra, Australia. There, he determined the complete nucleotide sequence of the Barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) genome, the first for any member of the Luteoviridae, and he codiscovered and sequenced the first known satellite RNA of BYDV (that isolate is now called Cereal yellow dwarf virus [CYDV]). Since joining the faculty at Iowa State University in 1988 (and becoming director of the Center for Plant Responses to Environmental Stresses in the Plant Sciences Institute in 2006), he has established himself as a leading authority on molecular biology of BYDV and on noncanonical translation mechanisms in plants. He has also made the greater molecular biology world more aware of plant viruses as fascinating model systems and has provided insight on novel RNA interactions and translation processes. His discoveries have attracted attention from scientists working with pathogens as diverse as dengue and SARS viruses.
Barbara S. Valent was born in Perry, IA, and grew up in Colorado. She received her B.A. degree in chemistry in 1972 and her Ph.D. degree in biochemistry in 1978 from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Following postdoctoral work at Cornell University and the University of Colorado, Valent had a highly productive research career with the DuPont Central Research and Agricultural Products Departments from 1985 to 2001, culminating in the position of research fellow and technical leader of the Genetic Disease Resistance Program. She was appointed to her current position of professor of plant pathology at Kansas State University in 2001, was designated a university distinguished professor in 2002, and was appointed chair of the Interdepartmental Genetics Program in 2004. Valent pioneered and developed Magnaporthe grisea, the rice blast fungus, as an easily manipulated model system to understand how plants and fungi interact to ultimately lead to disease or resistance. She was the first to identify and clone both a blast fungal gene that controls the induction of resistance in plants (Avr gene) as well as the corresponding gene from rice (R gene) that is involved in recognition of the fungal gene. She was also the first to demonstrate for this class of R gene that the AVR and R gene products physically interact and that this interaction likely occurs inside living plant cells. Currently, Valent is applying functional genomics and advanced cell biology techniques to analyze the earliest events in plantâ€“fungus interactions. Using laser microdissection and other novel enrichment techniques, she and her students are analyzing plant and fungal gene expression in the first-invaded plant cells.
Excellence in Extension Award This award recognizes excellence in extension plant pathology. Donald E. Hershman, a native of Pennsylvania, received a B.A. in biology from West Chester State College and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in plant pathology from Rutgers University. He joined the University of Kentucky in 1984 and is located at the Research and Education Center in Princeton. Don has responsibilities for soybean and small grain diseases. He has maintained a highly productive extension and applied research program since coming to Kentucky. He has authored or coauthored nearly 100 extension publications and has published more than 60 research reports. Throughout his career, Don has taken on numerous professional leadership responsibilities at the local, regional, and national levels. He is past president of the Southern Soybean Disease Workers, was chair of the International Certified Crop Adviser Program Exam and Procedures Committee for 6 years, and was vice chair of the U.S. Wheat and Barley Scab Initiativeâ€™s Biological and Chemical Control Research Area Committee for 5 years. Don is a leader in the U.S. response to the soybean rust threat, planning and implementing surveillance activities, developing communication listservs, formulating stratagems for fungicide use, and coordinating the 2006 National Soybean Rust Symposium. In 2007, Don became the first chair of the Steering Committee, which oversees the newly established IPM-PIPE. APS has been well served by Don, through his roles as senior editor and associate editor for Plant Disease and as a section editor for B&C Tests and F&N Tests and through his committee activities. He has received 16 awards during his career, recognizing his extension programs and leadership activities.
APS Awards Excellence in Industry Award This award recognizes outstanding contributions to plant pathology by APS members whose primary employment involves work outside the university and federal realms either for profit or nonprofit. Jim Frank was born in Cleveland, OH, and received his B.S. degree from Ohio University with a double major in music and botany. Frank received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in plant pathology from the University of Illinois, where he identified the mechanism of Phytophthora resistance in soybeans. Frank started his career at USDA in Beltsville, MD, where he codeveloped some of the first machine-harvestable tomatoes and studied the relationship of glandular trichomes on tomato leaves and spider mite resistance. Frank then worked for the USDA-ARS at the University of Maine, where he codeveloped the potato varieties ‘Atlantic’ and ‘BelRus.’ He then moved to the USDA-ARS Cereal Lab at The Pennsylvania State University, where his research focused on the epidemiology of cereal diseases. In 1987, Frank became a senior plant pathologist with Syngenta (then ICI Americas/Zeneca). Among his most noteworthy contributions was the successful North American introduction of azoxystrobin, one of the most widely used fungicides worldwide. He produced an excellent series of technical training manuals and then established a training program for Syngenta staff. Frank established resistance management guidelines for strobilurins and has been an active member of the strobilurin work group of the Fungicide Resistance Action Committee (FRAC). Frank’s outstanding people skills have impacted numerous members of APS. He has served as mentor and role model for phytopathologists and members of other disciplines within the industry, government, and academia. He is recognized and respected as a leader within Syngenta and throughout the industry. Frank’s career focus has always been on the ultimate customer—the grower. Frank has retired and he is currently consulting.
Excellence in Teaching Award This award recognizes excellence in teaching plant pathology. Paul Vincelli received a bachelor’s degree (botany, 1981) and master’s degree (plant pathology, 1983) from Rutgers University and a Ph.D. degree (plant pathology, 1988) from Cornell University. He joined the faculty of the University of Kentucky in 1990. In his early years of teaching, Vincelli followed the lecture model common to college-level science classrooms. However, his thinking about teaching and learning has evolved toward an inquiry-based model, facilitated by a sabbatical experience in 1998 with Jo Handelsman at the University of Wisconsin. Active-learning methods are now fundamental to Vincelli’s teaching at both undergraduate and graduate levels. This teaching approach, which he employs to great advantage in Principles of Plant Pathology (PPA 400G), successfully motivates students to read in advance and draft preliminary disease cycles. Preclass assignments, coupled with in-class group work, guided inquiry, and open-ended inquiry, stimulate students
to think at the highest cognitive levels. Inquiry is also important in his class laboratories, in which the students ultimately design their own disease control experiments. Vincelli has actively shared insights on teaching and learning, including four papers in The Plant Health Instructor, presentation of seminars, and service as a member of the APS Teaching Committee and as senior editor of The Plant Health Instructor. He also directs a graduate course at the University of Kentucky, Teaching in Plant Pathology (PPA 799), in which students study literature on teaching and learning and are mentored as classroom instructors. Vincelli’s teaching advances our discipline by motivating students to think about the science. However, for Vincelli, teaching is ultimately about much more than our discipline. He considers it a sacred honor to serve as teacher to the next generation.
International Service Award This award recognizes outstanding contributions to plant pathology by an APS member for a country other than his or her own. Naidu Rayapati was born in India and earned a Ph.D. degree (1985) from Sri Venkateswara University, India. After postdoctoral research at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and the University of Kentucky, he worked at ICRISAT (1992–1998) and with the Crop Protection Programme, Department for International Development, United Kingdom (1998–1999) in Malawi and Uganda, solving virus disease problems impacting smallholder farmers in Africa. He continued aspects of this work at the University of George (1999–2004) and currently is on the faculty of the Department of Plant Pathology at Washington State University, Prosser. Rayapati developed a multidisciplinary, multinational program supported by international donors that elucidated the epidemiology of groundnut rosette virus disease complex, an endemic disease of peanut in Africa. His work identified the biodiversity of the three disease agents involved and resolved their relationship with the aphid vector, resulting in deployment of diseaseresistant peanut cultivars that enhanced food security for subsistence farmers in Malawi and Uganda. He also conducted research on many virus disease problems in peanut. Rayapati trained several scientists in virology and developed a network with scientists in developed and developing countries to enhance self-reliance in addressing virus diseases in Africa and Asia. He currently is focusing on diseases caused by tospoviruses in Asia and virus diseases of cassava in Nigeria with funding support from the U.S. Agency for International Development. Rayapati’s work on viruses impacting agriculture in developing countries has resulted in more than 40 publications. He has served on the APS Tropical Plant Pathology and Virology Committees.
APS Awards Ruth Allen Award This award recognizes individuals who have made an outstanding, innovative contribution to research that has changed or has the potential to change the direction of research in any field of plant pathology. Herman B. Scholthof was born in Kring van Dorth, Gorssel, the Netherlands, in 1959. He completed his B.S. and M.S. degrees in plant pathology at Wageningen University and obtained his Ph.D. degree at the University of Kentucky in 1990. Scholthof performed postdoctoral research at the University of California-Berkeley. In 1994, he joined the faculty of the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology at Texas A&M University, advancing to full professor in 2005. Scholthof is an internationally recognized plant virologist and developed Tomato bushy stunt virus (TBSV) as a model system used to elucidate many aspects of plant–virus interactions. Scholthof ’s pioneering studies have elegantly demonstrated the importance of two TBSV proteins, P19 and P22, in serving as pathogenicity factors for systemic TBSV infections in plants. With his creative and insightful interpretations, he was an early originator to correlate the biological roles of P19 protein with its function as a suppressor of gene silencing. Most recently, he has shown that the biological properties directly relate to the structural features of P19 that allow it to bind short-interfering RNAs (siRNAs). In addition, Scholthof published the first report for any organism on the isolation of an active antiviral silencing complex (RISC) from TBSV-infected plants. Scholthof also is an enthusiastic teacher of graduate courses in plant virology, molecular methods in plant–microbe interactions, and virus gene vectors. He is sought after as a graduate and undergraduate student mentor. He also is a founding member of the intercollegiate faculty of virology, a consortium of medical, plant, and animal virologists at Texas A&M.
William Boright Hewitt and Maybelle Ellen Ball Hewitt Award This award recognizes a scientist within five years of their Ph.D. degree who has made an outstanding, innovative contribution directed toward the control of plant disease. Natália A. Peres was born and grew up in Santos, São Paulo, Brazil. She completed all of her degrees (Ph.D. degree in 2002) at São Paulo State University in Botucatu. Her dissertation research dealt with the epidemiology and management of postbloom fruit drop (PFD) of citrus caused by Colletotrichum acutatum. Subsequently, she spent 1-1/2 years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Instituto Biológico in São Paulo, continuing her work on citrus diseases. She established herself as an expert on foliar fungal diseases of citrus and subsequently has published 15 refereed journal articles, primarily on PFD, Alternaria brown spot, and black spot of citrus. She has consulted on citrus diseases and been invited to give presentations at national and international meetings. In 2003, she was appointed as assistant professor at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center (GCREC) of the University of Florida, with responsibilities for research and extension on diseases of strawberries and ornamentals.
She developed an extensive program on those diseases, resulting in many publications, as well as supervising the diagnostic lab at GCREC, evaluating fungicides, presenting numerous extension talks, and writing popular articles on diseases of those crops. She serves as advisor to five master’s and Ph.D. students. She published a feature article on the biology and life cycle of Colletotrichum acutatum and is actively investigating the relationships of isolates from different hosts of that pathogen. Peres has already achieved a great deal early in her career in research and extension and has a very promising future.
Noel T. Keen Award for Research in Molecular Plant Pathology This award recognizes APS members who have made outstanding contributions and demonstrated sustained excellence and leadership in research that significantly advances the understanding of molecular aspects of host–pathogen interactions, plant pathogens or plantassociated microbes, or molecular biology of disease development or defense mechanisms. Pierre J. G. M. de Wit received his Ph.D. degree from Wageningen University (WU) in 1981. Then, he went to the United States on a Fulbright fellowship to work with J. A. Kuc. Back at WU, he was appointed assistant, associate, and full professor in 1982, 1986, and 1990, respectively. Since 1992, he has been head of the Laboratory of Phytopathology; he served as director of Graduate School Experimental Plant Sciences (1999–2004); and he still serves as scientific director of Centre for Biosystems Genomics, a Dutch Center of excellence in plant and microbial genomics (2003–present). He received the Emil Christian Hansen Gold Medal for outstanding contributions to research in microbiology by the Carlsberg Foundation (1993) and was elected member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (1999). Presently, he is acting president of IS-MPMI. He receives the Noel T. Keen Award for his seminal and sustained contributions to the discipline of molecular plant pathology with his pioneering work on the Cladosporium fulvum–tomato pathosystem. His findings on the role of fungal peptides as determinants of avirulence and inducers of the hypersensitive response and, more recently, on their function as effectors promoting virulence has had wide-reaching impact in the research community. His cloning of the first fungal avirulence gene, Avr9, in the early 1990s, followed by Avr4, Avr4E, Avr2, and four Ecps in the following decade, validated the concept that specific elicitors act as determinants of avirulence, which was put forward by Noel Keen himself in a classic paper published in Science in 1975. de Wit has also made outstanding contributions to our understanding of the molecular basis and evolution of fungal virulence, as well as to plant disease resistance signaling.
APS Awards Syngenta Award
Award of Distinction
This award is given by Syngenta to an APS member for an outstanding contribution to teaching, research, or extension in plant pathology.
This award, the highest honor the Society can bestow, is presented on rare occasions to persons who have made truly exceptional contributions to plant pathology.
Niklaus J. Grünwald was born in Caracas, Venezuela. He entered the field of plant pathology after working as a grower in Switzerland. He earned his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of California-Davis in 1991 and 1997, respectively. He pursued doctoral research with Ariena H. C. van Bruggen and postdoctoral research with William E. Fry at Cornell University and then joined the USDAARS in Prosser, WA, and now in Corvallis, OR. He holds a courtesy appointment in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology at Oregon State University. Grünwald is an internationally recognized authority on the biology, ecology, and evolution of oomycete plant pathogens. He made several significant contributions that provided multiple novel insights into the biology of clade 1c Phytophthora species at their center of evolution. He codiscovered a new species of Phytophthora, described the population structure of Phytophthora infestans at its center of coevolution with wild Solanum species, and developed disease management strategies adapted to the highland tropics. Grünwald also outlined appropriate ways of analyzing genotypic diversity of populations of microorganisms. His current research program is focused on the ecology, epidemiology, population biology, and genetics of Phytophthora ramorum affecting nursery crops. Grünwald has served or currently serves as senior editor of Phytopathology, editor for Plant Pathology, senior editor for the APSnet Education Center, chair of the Epidemiology and Genetics Committees, and board member of OIP and OEC. Grünwald’s innovative contributions to our understanding of the biology of P. infestans at its center of origin make him a worthy recipient of this year’s Syngenta Award.
Norman E. Borlaug was born in Iowa, where he grew up on a family farm and received his primary and secondary education. Borlaug attended the University of Minnesota, where he received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in plant pathology and was also a star NCAA wrestler. For the past 20 years, Borlaug has lived in Texas, where he is a member of the faculty at Texas A&M University. In the immediate aftermath of World War II, Borlaug spent 20 years working in the poorest areas of rural Mexico. It was there that Borlaug made his breakthrough achievement in developing wheat that could exponentially increase yields while actively resisting rust disease. Borlaug’s breeding efforts in developing fungal-resistant varieties of wheat aided hundreds of thousands of the rural poor in Mexico and later saved hundreds of millions from famine and outright starvation in India and Pakistan. Borlaug’s accomplishment came to be labeled the Green Revolution. In 1970, he received the Nobel Peace Prize, the only person working in agriculture to ever be so honored. Since then, he has received numerous honors and awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Public Service Medal, the Rotary International Award for World Understanding, and America’s highest civilian award, the Congressional Gold Medal. Borlaug has saved more lives than any other person who has ever lived. At age 92, Borlaug continues to work to alleviate poverty and malnutrition. He currently serves as president of the Sasakawa Global 2000 Africa Project, which seeks to extend the benefits of agricultural development to the 800,000,000 people still mired in poverty and malnutrition in sub-Saharan Africa. Borlaug s accomplishments in terms of bringing radical change to world agriculture and uplifting humanity are without parallel.
Presidential Ceremony Tuesday, July 31 6:30â€“6:45 PM Presentation of the APS Outstanding Volunteer Award Wayne Wilcox, Senior Councilor-at-Large Presentation of the Past Presidentâ€™s Scroll Jan Leach, APS President Transfer of the APS Gavel Jan Leach, APS President Invitation to APS Centennial Meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota Ray Martyn, APS President Ceremony Adjourned
APS Council Awards APS Outstanding Volunteer Award The APS Councilorâ€™s Forum established the APS Outstanding Volunteer Award to recognize individuals for excellent service in furthering the mission of APS through their volunteer efforts. The intention of this award is to recognize those volunteers in the general membership whose contributions are deemed invaluable.
Transfer of the APS Gavel The official APS Gavel is held by the current APS President during their term of service. The passing of the gavel signifies the changing of presidential responsibility from the current APS President to the incoming APS President.
Richard E. Stuckey
Presentation of the Past Presidentâ€™s Scroll The APS Presidential Scroll is presented to the outgoing APS Past President in recognition of four years of service to APS during the presidential rotation.
John Andrews University of Wisconsin-Madison
Jan Leach Colorado State University
Ray Martyn Purdue University