Martin Gibbs Medal

The Martin Gibbs Medal was instituted by the Society’s executive committee in 1993 to honor Martin Gibbs, editor of Plant Physiology from 1963 to 1992. The Gibbs Medal is presented biennially to an individual who has pioneered advances that have served to establish new directions of investigation in the plant sciences. The winner will receive the medal and will be invited to convene a Martin Gibbs Medal Symposium at the annual meeting the following year.

2017 Winner: Ralph Bock

Ralph Bock (Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology) is awarded the 2017 Gibbs Medal for his groundbreaking research on horizontal gene transfer and experimental evolution.  After receiving his Ph.D. in 1996 from the University of Freiburg, Ralph quickly rose to the rank of Full Professor and Department Chair in 2001, and then Director of The Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology in 2004. Peers note Ralph’s exceptional originality, creativity, scholarship and intellectual rigor. Ralph’s research has focused on plastid genetics and the utilization of plastid transformation to manipulate plastid genomes. His research has advanced our understanding of fundamental questions in plastid biochemistry and achieved important biotechnological and synthetic biology breakthroughs, including engineered insect resistance and the transfer of the entire metabolic pathway for artemisinic acid from a medicinal plant to a biomass crop. Ralph’s research also pioneered the field of experimental evolution in plants. In a series of groundbreaking studies, he and his group experimentally recapitulated endosymbiosis, horizontal gene transfer, and organelle-to-nucleus gene transfer.  This work hints at an asexual path to the formation of new species. Because of these numerous contributions to plant science, Ralph exemplifies the spirit of the Martin Gibbs Medal, which honors “an individual who has pioneered advances that have served to establish new directions of investigation in the plant sciences”.

Committee

Alice Cheung, Acting Chair (2011-2017)
Craig Pikaard, Past Winner (2016-2017)
Gerald Berkowitz (2011-2017)
Mike Axtell, Ad Hoc member (2016-2017)
Sylvia Lee
, Staff Liaison

Nomination & Deadlines

The Martin Gibbs Medal will be offered again in 2017. Please check the nominations page in January 2017 to make a nomination.

Past Winners

MARTIN GIBBS MEDAL

2015 – Craig Pikaard – for pioneering advances that have served to establish new directions of investigation in the plant sciences.

2013 – Jen Sheen – for pioneering advances that have served to establish new directions of investigation in the plant sciences.

2011 – Steve A. Kay – for his research on biological clocks in both plants and animals.

2009 –John B. Ohlrogge – for his research focused on understanding fatty acid metabolism in plant cells

2007 – Richard A. Jorgensen – for his pioneering work leading to the discovery of RNA interference (RNAi)

2005 – Joseph Ecker – for his seminal contributions in the plant hormone ethylene and genomics.

2003 – June Nasrallah – for her outstanding research in elucidating the molecular basis of self-incompatibility.

2001 Ken Feldmann is recognized for his enormous impact on plant physiology, as well as plant developmental biology and plant genetics.

1999 Steven D. Tanksley for pioneering advances that have served to establish new directions of investigation in the plant sciences.

1997 William J. Lucas for contributing significantly in the general area of transport in plants, both long distance and at the level of the membrane.

1995 Elliot Meyerowitz for making several original contributions that have established new directions of investigation in the plant sciences.

1993 Christopher R. Somerville for development of Arabidopsis thaliana as a genetic system for the study of plant functions.