Lawrence Bogorad Award for Excellence in Plant Biology Research

The ASPB Lawrence Bogorad Award for Excellence in Plant Biology Research was approved by the Society’s executive committee in 2005 to honor Dr. Bogorad’s many contributions to plant biology, including his influential efforts to bring the techniques of molecular biology to bear on problems in plant biology; his groundbreaking research on chloroplast genetics, biogenesis, structure, and function;and his inspired teaching and mentoring. The ASPB Lawrence Bogorad Award for Excellence in Plant Biology Research is a monetary award made biennially to a plant scientist whose work both illuminates the present and suggests paths to enlighten the future.

2018 Winner: Alice Barkan

Alice Barkan (University of Oregon) is recognized as a leader for her fundamental contributions to the field of chloroplast biogenesis. Her Photosynthetic Mutant Library, a large collection of Mu transposon-tagged maize mutants, has had a major impact, enabling identification of key genes involved in chloroplast biogenesis. Examples include transcription, translation, RNA splicing, RNA editing, and RNA stability in addition to Rubisco assembly, assembly of photosynthetic enzyme complexes, chlorophyll biosynthesis, and protein targeting. The sequence-indexed Mu insertions in the library were characterized by the Mu-Illumina technology developed in the Barkan laboratory. Alice used combined genetic, proteomic, and RNA-protein co-immunoprecipitation approaches to characterize the proteins mediating chloroplast RNA splicing and pioneered ribosome profiling to define translatome dynamics during maize leaf development. In collaboration with Dr. Ian Small, she worked out a “code” for sequence specificity of pentatricopeptide repeat RNA-binding proteins, which holds the promise of designer RNA-binding proteins to control gene expression.


Maureen Hanson, Chair (2015-2020)
Alice Barkan, Past Winner (2019-2020)
Maria Harrison (2015-2020)
Eva-Mari Aro (2019-2024)
Sylvia Lee, Staff Liaison