Testimonials for Pioneer Member J. Clark Lagarias

Deqiang Duanmu – Clark is a great scientist and mentor. His strong and unique background in chemistry enables deep insight into investigation of the biochemistry of tetrapyrrole biosynthesis and regulation, biological functions of bilin-based photosensors, including phytochromes and cyanobacteriochromes, and many aspects of basic research and translational studies related to bilins. When I started my postdoctoral training in his lab, my project was to study the biological functions of bilin biosynthesis in the green alga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Clark encouraged me to design and perform appropriate experiments for this project, and he sent me to other algal labs to collaborate on the project. My postdoctoral training was very fruitful, leading to a faculty position in China. Clark has always been considerate and supportive of my career. Actually, he cares about everyone in the lab, undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, technicians, project scientists. He always thinks about other people and tries his best to offer them good opportunities. To me, the 5-year experience of working with him was the best gift of my career.

Andrew Fisher – Wonderful colleague and an exceptional mentor for his students and postdocs.

Nicole Frankenberg-Dinkel – Clark was a great postdoctoral mentor, and I learned a lot from him, both scientifically and personally. He taught me that not everything is about publishing in high impact journals, but it is important to publish good and sound science. Clark helped pave the way for me to stay in academia by allowing me to take projects with me to pursue during my own independent career. We’ve been in touch ever since I left his lab, and he remains available for good advice. Thank you, Clark!

Wolfgang Gärtner – Dr. Lagarias’ work on photoreceptors, ‘Phytochromes’ and the embedded chromophore, the bilins, is outstanding. He generated a large number of important results, showing the future path of research for the younger generation. Most of his work was pioneering and seminal for several research fields including biochemistry, chemistry, and plant physiology, as well as work on cyanobacteria and a variety of algae. His ability to motivate young researchers is remarkable, and the number of his lab members that made their way to academic positions is noteworthy.

Arthur Grossman – To a thorough, rigorous and tenacious scientist with whom I have interacted and respected for many years… and who is well deserving of this honor.

Stacey Harmer and Julin Maloof – Clark has been a wonderful colleague. When we first arrived at UC Davis, he welcomed us and made us feel at home. Over the years, he’s always been happy to provide assistance both in the form of valuable advice and in sharing equipment and facilities. Clark is a fabulous collaborator with infectious enthusiasm about photobiology and science in general!

Yuu Hirose – I stayed in Clark’s lab at UC Davis as a visiting international student when I was a Ph. D student. He has a distinguished research record with deep thoughts about the chemistry and photobiology of bilin-binding proteins. He is friendly, calm, open minded, and humorous. It was always a pleasure to have discussions about new data with him. I am very appreciative to have learned a lot from him. The time in his laboratory had a great impact on me, and I would like to be a researcher like him one day.

Rei Narikawa – I fully appreciate Prof. Lagarias’s generous and considerable contributions to photobiology, especially plant and algal photoperception mechanisms. My colleagues and I were unfamiliar with the photoreceptor field when we started our cyanobacteriochrome study. In view of our situation, he kindly provided numerous pieces of encouragement, advice, and support for our work, so our study could nicely proceed. When we attended a photobiology conference in California, he kindly invited us to his laboratory. We had several chances to collaborate, which resulted in four successful collaborative papers. I consider my career success is largely owed to Prof. Lagarias’s contributions.

Robert Willows – I first met Clark in 1994, when I was a postdoctoral researcher attending the Gordon Research Conference on Tetrapyrroles. Clark gave a very entertaining and informative talk on phytochrome assembly, and he has been actively involved in most of these biennial conferences. Clark’s enthusiasm and knowledge of many disparate areas of tetrapyrroles synthesis, phytochrome signalling and other topics relevant to plant growth and development processes have inspired many researchers and resulted in many fruitful collaborations. I always enjoy the active discussions with Clark at the GRC conferences and the ICTPPO conferences that we have both chaired.