Stephen Hales Prize

This award honors the Reverend Stephen Hales for his pioneering work in plant biology published in his 1727 book Vegetable Staticks. It is a monetary award established in 1927 for a scientist, an ASPB member, who has served the science of plant biology in some noteworthy manner. The award is made annually. The recipient of the award is invited to address the Society on a subject in plant biology at the next annual meeting.

2022 Winner: Xinnian Dong

Xinnian Dong is the Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of Biology and Howard Hughes Medical Institute–Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Investigator in the Department of Biology at Duke University. Xinnian is a pioneer in the plant immunity field, from her early work identifying and characterizing the fundamental master regulator, NPR1; determining that NPRs act as receptors for the immune signal salicylic acid; to her recent discovery of upstream open reading frame–mediated translational regulation of important immune regulators. Her research has been notable for its originality and its capacity to reveal unexpected connections, such as between plant defense and DNA damage repair machinery, the circadian clock, and environmental humidity. Xinnian’s seminal studies have opened new frontiers in understanding and engineering how plants can defend themselves against pathogen attack without compromising other physiological activities.  Xinnian has served the plant biology community through training of diverse and successful scientists who now hold positions in academia, industry, and government. She has been active as a Monitoring Editor for Plant Physiology and a Reviewing Editor for The Plant Cell, as well as through her service on many other editorial and advisory boards. Xinnian has received many honors for her accomplishments, including election to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

Rebecca Boston , Chair (2019-2023)
Xinnian Dong, Past Winner (2022-2023)
Steve Briggs (2020-2023)
Dawn Nagel (2023-2025)
Sylvia Lee, Staff Liaison