Testimonials for Pioneer Member Donald McCarty
Andrew Hanson – I leave it others to describe and honor Don McCarty’s many specific contributions to plant science, especially maize genetics. I just want to say that Don is hands-down one of the most intelligent, widely knowledgeable, original, and open-spirited scientists whom it has been my privilege to know and work with… and the closest to being a true polymath. Don’s enthusiasm for ideas – sometimes verging on the mystical – is infectious and inspirational for colleagues and trainees alike. Sir Isaac Newton and René Descartes had a definite mystical element in their thinking – and, as a warrant for mysticism in science (you could also call it a deep sense of wonder), you can’t say fairer than that!
Bala Rathinasabapathi – Don has been a great colleague who provides intellectual leadership in the area of genomics. His ‘uniform Mu population’ of maize has been a great community resource. As a team member, he greatly enhanced the ‘Plant Biochemistry’ course for University of Florida students.
Masaharu Suzuki – As his post-doc and collaborator for over 20 years, I witnessed Don’s excellence in science and education. He is one of the most outstanding scientists I have ever met. Among the countless impactful findings that he has made, I highlight my top three below: 1) Don was the first to identify and reveal the functions of the key transcription factor for ABA signaling, VP1, in plants. 2) Don was the first to identify and reveal functions of the key enzyme for ABA biosynthesis, VP14, in plants. 3) Don led his group to construct the maize UniformMu population and make this mutant collection available to the public. UniformMu has become the largest public mutant collection for reverse genetics research in maize.