Testimonials for Pioneer Member Michael Mishkind

Xinnian Dong – Michael Mishkind was the NSF program director for the plant-microbe interaction field for over 20 years. His positive impacts on the field through support of frontier research and the establishment of a vibrant research community were numerous. It was such a pleasure and privilege for me to have many opportunities working with Michael as an awardee and a panel member. I will miss Michael dearly because he had been a companion and a cheerleader in my scientific journey.

Walter Gassmann – Michael was always kind, supportive, and honest. Whether news on a proposal was good or bad, you could rely on helpful, constructive feedback from him. I will actually miss serving on his panels.

Hua Lu – Michael was a great scientist who was passionate about plants. As an NSF program officer, he provided strong support for plant biologists, in particular looking after individual PIs at critical career stages of their career. He will be forever remembered!

Li-Jun Ma – I was always touched by Michael’s kindness and sincerity, treating everyone as his equal. His passion for plant biology and plant-microbe interaction was contagious.

Ravi Palanivelu – Dr. Michael Mishkind was a kind and gentle person. He was my program officer at the US National Science Foundation. While serving on the grant panel with him, I got to know more about him. He knew how to listen, talk less, and act decisively and clearly. He was a joy to work with. His leadership was best evident in grant panel meetings. In scientific conferences, he always came to talks of PIs who were funded through his program and kept himself abreast of what is happening. And he shared words of encouragement, meeting with them directly and sharing feedback. He made an impact on my scientific career and I will always be grateful for it.

Elsbeth Walker – It is with a heavy heart that I write this testimonial in fond memory of my colleague and friend, Michael Mishkind. During my time at NSF, Michael’s kindness, level-headedness, and unwavering dedication to Plant Biology left an indelible mark on me. Michael’s genuine keen intellect and remarkable empathy were evident in every interaction. He was a beacon of support and encouragement for me and for so many members of the Plant Biology community. No matter the challenges we faced, Michael’s calm demeanor and rational thinking provided a steadying influence, fostering a positive and collaborative atmosphere. I honor Michael’s remarkable character, his dedication to science, and the important and positive influence he had on the whole field of Plant Biology. Though he is no longer with us, his memory will live on as an inspiration for all who had the privilege of knowing him.

Shunyuan Xiao – From what I know about Dr. Michael Mishkind, first and foremost, he was a passionate scientist who loved plants and plant biology. Everyone time we met, we shared the excitement of scientific discoveries and the joy of making such discoveries. I was deeply impressed by his decades-long quest regarding mechanisms of plants’ responses to heat (particularly how phospholipids are involved in this process) through collaboration with Dr. Teun Munnik at the University of Amsterdam when he served as an NSF program director. It is apparent to me that through his decades of dedicated service at NSF, he made significant contributions to advances towards understanding the mechanisms concerning plant biotic interactions and self-recognition. His hard work in managing and evaluating numerous grant proposals, his outreach to and effective communication with a wide-range of scientists at meetings, and his flair in recognizing novel and important research ideas and directions greatly facilitated cutting-edge research in plant biology from the relevant scientific community within the U.S. Therefore, I sincerely support the initiative to honor Dr. Michael Mishkind with the title of ASPB Pioneer, albeit posthumously.