Testimonials for Pioneer Member Joe Key

Gloria Coruzzi –  Plant Molecular Biology in 1980 – as a post-doc in the lab of Nam-Hai Chua at Rockefeller – along with Rich Broglie, we sequenced one of the first plant nuclear genes – one encoding the small subunit gene family of RUBISCO. I first became introduced to the nascent Plant Molecular Biology community at the 2nd Plant Molecular Biology Gordon conference, which Joe Key chaired in 1981. That was a seminal meeting in our field, promoting the gene cloning era in plants. My connections to Joe Key and his colleagues grew over the years, so much so that I feel honored to be an honorary member of Joe Key’s legacy. Joe, as an executive at AgriGenetics, was also a visionary in the applications of plant gene cloning to AgBiotech. I believe I represent the entire Plant Molecular Biology Community in acknowledging and thanking Joe for his “Key” vision and leadership at the frontier of Plant Molecular Biology. Joe- I send you my extreme thanks for guiding us all in this journey, and I wish you and Mary Lynn my fondest regards for all the years to come – With thanks and respect – Gloria Coruzzi (New York University)

Natasha Raikhel – While I was not an “official” member of Joe’s lab, I became a Plant Molecular Biologist when Joe opened “the KEY” of his lab to me. I was originally trained as a classical cell biologist in the old Soviet Union and worked as a postdoc in the Botany Department in the University of Georgia. When I asked Joe whether I could come to his lab and learn molecular biology, he just simply said, “sure go ahead and find you a place to work”. It was so easy with Joe! Joe was a vibrant leader and great personality who transformed the Botany Department in the University. His vision was to make the Department into a leader in plant molecular biology. Joe is also credited for helping to advance plant molecular biology in the U.S in general. I experienced his knowledge and advanced thinking first hand: that’s how I stepped in the new field and started studying plant molecular biology. It was a great learning phase in my scientific career. Natasha Raikhel