Testimonials for Pioneer Member Kenneth Keegstra

Peter Dörmann – Ken is a indeed a real pioneer in plant biochemistry. I learned so much from his lab during my time in East Lansing which strongly impacted the research during my further career.

Toshiya Endo – I always enjoyed inspiring discussions and talks on science with Ken, like protein transport into chloroplasts and mitochondria and non-science topics like culture and family in Japan, the US, and other places.

Felix Kessler – Ken made seminal contributions to a very important field in plant cell biology, the import of proteins from the cytosol into chloroplasts. I just recently read some of his papers, one notably in The Plant Cell, that paved the way to the discovery of the TOCs and TICs that form the gateway to the chloroplast and photosynthesis. It’s always a pleasure to talk with Ken at a meeting!

Aaron Liepman – o a fantastic mentor and scientist with a great sense of humor. Thank you for welcoming this Wolverine into your Sparty lab, and for all your support through the years!

Erik Nielsen – During my PhD studies, Ken played an enormous role in guiding me from a naïve experimentalist to a scientist with a much better understanding of how to design and interpret experiments that can drive a research project forward. His patience during this process was truly exceptional, and he always seemed to find a way to lift me up emotionally when the experiments were not working well. I consider myself extremely lucky to have had him as a mentor. Over the years, I have found myself often returning to lessons and qualities that he brought to his research and instilled in his mentees, and I have attempted to pass them along to my own lab associates. Thanks Ken!

Sjef Smeekens – As a Utrecht University PhD student, I had the great opportunity to work in Ken’s lab. Later on, Ken was a visiting professor at my Utrecht laboratory and a member of my PhD committee. Working with Ken was both most enjoyable and incredibly instructive. Ken has always been a most kind, positive and supportive person with an amazing scientific career devoted mainly to understanding plant cell walls. Ken’s scientific and administrative leadership in plant biology and his personal excellence for over half a century fully justify ASPB Pioneer recognition.

Margaret Werner Washburne – I was grateful to land in Ken Keegstra’s lab at the University of Wisconsin. He is a normal, happy, sciencie-loving person who always listened, helped, and pulled our group together. The lab always enjoyed going to meetings together, so there was a lot of laughing in the group and time spent talking to new, interesting people. His wife, Sue, was key in having the lab always feel like family. I was very happy to realize I wasn’t disowned when I moved in to yeast – in fact, amazingly, everything I learned in Ken’s lab led to our figuring out the role of HSP70s as chaperones and the worldwide network of protein transport researchers from around the world that I met through Ken were critical in the HSP70 work we did in yeast.