ASPB-Carnegie Winslow Briggs Mentorship Award

The ASPB-Carnegie Winslow Briggs Mentorship award, offered for the first time in 2024, honors Winslow Briggs and his outstanding contributions, leadership, and mentorship in plant biology, as well as his extraordinary career-long attendance at ASPB annual meetings. This biennial monetary award recognizes an individual with at least five years of continuous membership at the time the award is made for their demonstrated commitment to mentoring and supporting next-generation scientists, for making a significant positive impact on their former mentees’ careers, and for advancing research in the field of plant science through their former mentees. The recipient is invited to chair a concurrent symposium at the Plant Biology conference in the year following their award.

Please note: when submitting a nomination for the ASPB-Carnegie Winslow Briggs Mentorship Award, the nomination should include at least one letter co-signed by a group of former mentees or three letters from individual former mentees.

2024 Winner: Judy Brusslan

California State University, Long Beach, California

Judy Brusslan is a professor at California State University, Long Beach a primarily undergraduate institution that is notable for serving students who are minoritized and/or the first in their families to attend college. Judy has made remarkable contributions to teaching and advancing diversity in research careers by fostering a supportive, inclusive, and inspiring classroom and research environment. She has obtained grants to support undergraduate and master’s degree students in research, including the NIH Research Training Initiative for Student Enhancement (RISE) Program and the Bridges to the Doctorate (BTD) Student Training Program. Her research students are often co-authors; many of them have moved on to PhD programs or become teachers in two-year and four-year colleges. One of her students, who is now a PhD student in a plant science laboratory, writes: “Dr. Brusslan provides training beyond just experimental research skills. She teaches students … to read and interpret current scientific literature… to critically think about their results after generating them… develop critical writing skills and presentation skills… Judy is personally responsible for inspiring and motivating scientific careers for a countless students, many of whom are historically underrepresented in STEM.” Judy previously served as Chair of ASPB’s Women in Plant Biology committee. In that role she strove to advance women in plant science by drawing the attention of a wider community to the importance of mentoring through events at ASPB’s annual Plant Biology meetings. Judy is a former elected member of the ASPB Council.

2024 Winner: Joanne Chory

The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, California

Photo by: Christopher Michel

Joanne Chory is the director of Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology Laboratory, the Howard H. and Maryam R. Newman Chair in Plant Biology, the founding director of the Harnessing Plants Initiative, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Joanne has made many groundbreaking contributions to plant science. For example, she has carried out pioneering research in the fields of brassinosteroid signaling through a receptor kinase pathway that promotes plant growth, nuclear-chloroplast communication that coordinates nuclear and plastid gene expression for optimizing photosynthesis, and light-hormone crosstalk underpinning plants’ phenotypic plasticity to environmental light and temperature changes. More recently, she established the audacious Harnessing Plants Initiative to sequester atmospheric carbon dioxide in plant roots, thereby mitigating climate change. Joanne’s impact on the scientific community is not only reflected in the groundbreaking research conducted in her lab but also in the success and accomplishments of the over 200 undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers she has mentored. Her passionate support for the professional development of her mentees — particularly her immense generosity in allowing mentees to take their projects with them to establish independent scientific careers — has empowered the next generation of scientists and advanced plant science broadly. At least 64 of her former mentees hold faculty positions at academic institutions around the world, advancing research on many fronts including brassinosteroid signaling, photobiology, temperature signaling, organelle biogenesis, photosynthesis, auxin biology, receptor kinase signaling, circadian clock, and evolutionary biology; and collectively, Joanne’s mentees have a large footprint in plant sciences in academia and industry. Joanne’s exceptional contributions to science and humanity have been recognized by many awards, including the 2018 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, the 2018 Gruber Genetics Prize, the 2020 Pearl Meister Greengard Prize, and the 2024 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science. She is a member of nine scientific academies, including the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Inventors, the American Philosophical Society, and the Royal Society. With her unwavering commitment to innovation and mentorship, Joanne is an inspiring role model for all.

Zhiyong Wang, chair (2023-2024)
Michael Blatt (2023-2028)
Arthur Grossman (2023-2028)
Marta Laskowski (2023-2028)
Elaine Tobin (2023-2028)