Confirmed plenary speakers together with their photographs and biographies can be viewed below.
Plant innate immunity proteins
La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science, La Trobe University
Marilyn Anderson is a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at La Trobe University. After completing a BSc Honours at The University of Melbourne and a PhD in Biochemistry at La Trobe University she spent seven years in the United States working on diabetes at the University of Miami and oncogenes at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
She returned to Australia in 1982 to establish a molecular biology group at the newly established Plant Cell Biology Research Centre at the University of Melbourne.
Her current work is focussed on defence molecules produced by plants for protection against insect pests and pathogens. This interest was a spin off from work on genes that control pollination in flowering plants. She discovered that the female sexual tissues of plants produce high concentrations of molecules that protect reproductive capacity under adverse conditions in the field. Her current research spans from basic work on the structure and function of these molecules, to the practical application of creating crop plants which are protected from losses in the field due to predation and disease. This practical application is being developed within the company Hexima Limited of which Professor Anderson is a founding scientist and Chief Science Officer.
Molecular genetics of neurodegenerative disease
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Pennsylvania, USA
Nancy Bonini’s laboratory focuses on using the powerful genetics of Drosophila melanogaster in order to define genes that are critical to prevent human brain degeneration. Many human neurodegenerative diseases are poorly understood and untreatable, including Huntington's, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. In order to pioneer new ways to prevent and treat these devastating diseases, they are applying the power of Drosophila genetics to the problem. Overall, genes in Drosophila are highly conserved to humans, such that any genes that we find which are critical to maintenance of the brain in flies are likely to have conserved homologues in humans - with conservation not only of protein sequence, but also of protein function. Toward this end, they have introduced human disease genes into Drosophila in order to recreate the respective human disease in flies. One example is human polyglutamine disease, of which Huntington's disease is an example. Expression of a mutant human polyglutamine disease gene in flies confers a phenotype remarkably reflective of the human disease - late-onset, progressive neural degeneration. With this fly model, they are using molecular and genetic approaches in order to define genes and mechanisms involved in progression of degeneration, and ways to stop the degeneration entirely. One powerful class of suppressor genes they have defined include the molecular chaperones, which alter protein folding, potentially masking and diminishing disease protein toxicity. They are generating fly models for additional human neurodegenerative diseases, and continuing with Drosophila genetic approaches to identify and study suppressor mechanisms for preventing neural degeneration. By this approach, they are using the powerful genetics of Drosophila in order to pioneer new approaches to understand and prevent human neurodegenerative disease.
Structural Biology of Proteins
Nobel Laureate and Regental Professor, The University of Texas
Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, USA
Johann Deisenhofer is Regental Professor and Professor in Biochemistry, and holds the Virginia and Edward Linthicum Distinguished Chair in Biomolecular Science at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. He is a member of several scientific organizations, including the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, the Academia Europaea, the German Academy of Natural Scientists Leopoldina, and the Academy of Medicine, Engineering & Science of Texas. Johann Deisenhofer was born in Germany in 1943. He studied physics at the Technical University Munich, and in 1974 received a doctoral degree in experimental physics. He worked in structural biology at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biochemistry in Martinsried, a small town near Munich, until he moved to Dallas in 1988. In the early 1980s he and his colleagues at the Max-Planck- Institute determined the three-dimensional structure of a photosynthetic reaction center, a complex of four proteins and fourteen co-factors that resides in a bacterial cell membrane. The structure of the reaction centre was the first high-resolution structure of an integral membrane protein; it helped explain the detailed mechanism of the conversion of light energy into chemical energy in photosynthesis. For this work he shared the 1986 Biological Physics Prize of the American Physical Society, and the 1988 Otto-Bayer-Prize with Hartmut Michel, and the 1988 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Hartmut Michel and Robert USA Huber.
Defence against viruses
Nobel Laureate and Professor, University of Melbourne, Australia and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, USA
Professor Peter Doherty is best known for winning the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1996 with Swiss colleague, Rolf Zinkernagel, for their discovery of how the immune system recognises virus-infected cells. Peter graduated from the University of Queensland in Veterinary Science in 1962 and received his PhD from the University of Edinburgh Medical School in 1970. In 1972, he joined the John Curtin School of Medical Research Canberra, where he switched from animal to human-pathogen studies and carried out research on histocompatibility antigens with Rolf Zinkernagel. Peter has held the Michael F Tamer Chair of Biomedical Research at St Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, since 1988. From July 2002, he has been Laureate Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Melbourne. His research is mainly in the area of defence against viruses. His key interest is in the part played by the CD8+ 'killer' T lymphocyte. This research attracted many other prestigious awards, including West Germany's Paul Ehrlich Prize (1983); the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award USA (1995); and the 1986 Gairdner International Award for Medical Science, Canada. Professor Doherty holds honorary doctorates from 15 other universities including Australian National University, Edinburgh, London (Imperial), Berne and Pennsylvania. Declared a member of Australia's 100 Living National Treasures in 1997, his awards also include election to the Royal Society of London, the Australian Academy of Science and the US National Academy of Sciences. He is an advocate for innovation, liberal education and the role of science in society, and regularly devotes time to delivering public lectures, radio discussions and writing articles for newspapers and magazines. Peter is also the author of several books including A Light History of Hot Air and The Beginner's Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize.
Regulation of signal transduction by ubiquitylation
Vice-President Research, Genentech, Inc.
Vishva Dixit has conducted studies defining key components of the death pathway and answered fundamental questions about death receptor signaling. His laboratory published a series of groundbreaking papers in which they defined the molecular components of the death receptor pathway. It was previously thought that receptors signaled either by serving as ion channels or by altering phosphorylation-dephosphorylation events. Work in the Dixit laboratory conclusively showed that death domain-containing receptors signaled apoptosis by an entirely new mechanism, specifically, the adapter (FADD)-mediated recruitment and activation of a death protease (FLICE/caspase-8). Both papers reporting this seminal finding were designated as citation classics and contributed to Vishva being the second most highly cited scientist in all scientific disciplines in 1997. In recognition of these discoveries, he was awarded in 1996 the Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis Award in Experimental Pathology. The Dixit laboratory also identified the first mammalian death protease equivalent to CED3, the death protein in worms. In subsequent studies, they identified the signaling and “decoy” receptors for TRAIL, a proapoptotic ligand related to TNF that specifically kills cancer cells. Significant efforts are presently focused in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry on developing TRAIL and agonist antibodies to the Death Receptors as therapeutic agents for the treatment of cancer.
Human variation and disease
Professor of Genome Science, University of Washington
Evan Eichler is a Professor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator in the Department of Genome Sciences, University of Washington School of Medicine. He graduated with a B.Sc. Honours degree in Biology from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada in 1990. He received his Ph.D. in 1995 from the Department of Molecular and Human Genetics at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston. After a Hollaender post-doctoral fellowship at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, he joined the faculty of Case Western Reserve University in 1997 and later the Department of Genome Sciences in 2004. He was a March of Dimes Basil O’Connor Scholar (1998-2001), was appointed as an HHMI Investigator (2005), and awarded an AAAS Fellowship (2006) and the American Society of Human Genetics Curt Stern Award (2008). He is an editor of Genome Research and has served on various scientific advisory boards for both NIH and NSF. His research group provided the first genome-wide view of segmental duplications within human and other primate genomes and he is a leader in an effort to identify and sequence normal and disease-causing structural variation in the human genome. The long-term goal of his research is to understand the evolution and mechanisms of recent gene duplication and its relationship to copy-number variation and human disease.
Protein folding and misfolding, Molecular Chaperones
F. Ulrich Hartl
Director, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Martinsried, Germany
Ulrich Hartl received his doctoral degree in Biochemistry from the University of Heidelberg. In 1985 he moved to the laboratory of Walter Neupert in Munich where he worked on the mechanism of protein transport into mitochondria, first as a post-doctoral fellow and then as a research group leader. In 1988 he initiated work that resulted in the demonstration of the basic role of molecular chaperones in protein folding. The period in Walter Neupert’s department was interrupted by a stay in William Wickner’s laboratory at UCLA, where Hartl worked on the mechanism of bacterial protein export. After returning to Munich he received his Habilitation in Biochemistry and soon after accepted an offer to join the faculty of Sloan- Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Between 1991 and 1997 he investigated the mechanisms of protein folding in the bacterial and eukaryotic cytosol. He reconstituted the pathway of chaperone-assisted folding in which the Hsp70 and the GroEL chaperone systems cooperate and discovered that GroEL and its co-factor GroES provide a nano-cage for single protein molecules to fold unimpaired by aggregation. In 1993 Hartl was promoted to Full Professor with tenure, and in 1994 became an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. In 1997 he returned to Munich to head the Department of Cellular Biochemistry at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB). Hartl has received several national and international awards for his work on chaperone-assisted protein folding, including the Gairdner Award in 2004, the Wiley Prize in 2007, the Rosenstiel Award and Horwitz Prize in 2008, the Otto Warburg Medal of the German Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (GBM) in 2009 and the Dr H.P. Heineken Prize for Biochemistry and Biophysics in 2010.
Lemberg Medal: Heart development and congenital heart disease
Co-Deputy Director and Australia Fellow, Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute,Sydney Australia
Richard Harvey is Co-Deputy Director and Head of the Developmental Biology Program at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, and holds the endowed Sir Peter Finley Professorship of Heart Research at the University of New South Wales. He is an Associate Member of EMBO and in 2007 was elected member of the Australian Academy of Science. He currently holds an NHMRC Australia Fellowship and is Leader of the Adult Stem Cells Collaborative Stream of the Australian Stem Cell Centre. Since the early 1990s, Richard’s research has focused on the genetic basis of heart development and congenital heart disease, largely using the mouse as a genetic model, but also applying key insights to human populations. In the early 1990s, he described the homeodomain transcription factor Nkx2-5, which provided a key entry point for genetic dissection of heart development and disease. His subsequent studies on Nkx2-5 and other core cardiac transcription factors have helped move cardiac development and congenital heart disease research into the molecular era, and have contributed important insights into cardiac evolution, the nature of cardiac patterning, and the cellular and molecular basis of congenital heart disease pathology. More recently, he has begun an exploration of the biology and origin of adult cardiac stem cells and cardiac regeneration. Progressively, his work shifts towards a more systems level understanding of these processes.
The ASBMB Merck Research Excellence Medal: Protein misfolding and aggregation disorders
Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, The University of Melbourne, Australia
Associate Professor Andrew Hill is a Principal Research Fellow in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Melbourne. His laboratory studies the molecular and cellular biology of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and prion diseases. In 1992, he began working on prion diseases in the UK, researched the molecular properties of human and animal prion strains, and identified the link between BSE and a new form of prion disease in humans – variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease that emerged in 1996. This work led to a number of high profile publications in Nature and Science and to the development of a diagnostic and classification system for human prion diseases. Andrew first came to Australia in 2000 as a Wellcome Trust Travelling Prize Research Fellow where he expanded his research interests into other neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Andrew’s research team uses in vitro and in vivo models to look at how abnormal prion proteins travel from cell to cell and factors that affect prion infection. This work has extended into identifying similar pathways involved in the processing of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) involved in Alzheimer’s disease. His laboratory also works on the basic biology of the prion protein and APP to understand their role in the disease process in more detail, with the goal of translating this into the design of novel therapeutics and diagnostics.
FEBS Lecture: Post-transcriptional regulation of messenger RNA
Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Tübingen, Germany
Elisa Izaurralde leads the Department of Biochemistry at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Tuebingen, Germany. Her research focuses on the molecular mechanisms that regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level, with particular emphasis on mRNA surveillance, turnover and silencing in animal cells. Elisa was elected to membership of the European Molecular Biology Organization in 2000. She is a recipient of the Friedrich Miescher Award of the Swiss Society for Biochemistry, of the Young Scientist Award of the European Life Science Organization (ELSO) and of the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the German Research Foundation (DFG). She serves on several scientific editorial and advisory panels.
Erythropoiesis, Hematopoietic stem cells, Adiponectin functions, microRNAs in development and metabolism
Professor of Biology and Professor of Bioengineering, MIT Member, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, USA
Harvey Lodish obtained his Ph.D. degree with Dr. Norton Zinder from the Rockefeller University in 1966. Following postdoctoral research with Drs. Sydney Brenner and Francis Crick, he joined the faculty of the MIT Department of Biology. In 1983 he was appointed Founding Member of the new Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. In 1999 he also became Professor of Bioengineering in the new MIT Department of Bioengineering. A leader in the field of membrane biology, Dr Lodish has isolated and cloned numerous proteins that reside on the surface of cells and play a role in cell growth, glucose transport, and fatty acid transport. His results have important implications for the treatment of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Dr. Lodish is a Member of the National Academy of Sciences, and served as Chair of the National Academy Section on Cellular and Developmental Biology. He is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, and an Associate (Foreign) Member of EMBO. Dr. Lodish received a MERIT award from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. He is also a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an honorary D.Sc. from Kenyon, and the Stadie Award from the American Diabetes Association. Dr. Lodish was on the Editorial Board of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences from 1995 to 1999 and on the Board of Reviewing Editors of Science from 1991 through 1999. He was Editor of Molecular and Cellular Biology from 1981 to 1987 and he has been on the editorial boards of a number of journals, including the Journal of Cell Biology, the Journal of Biological Chemistry, and Nucleic Acids Research. In 2004 Dr. Lodish served as President of the American Society for Cell Biology. Dr. Lodish is the lead author of the textbook Molecular Cell Biology. The sixth edition was published in 2007 and the book has been translated into seven languages.
Autophagy, protein degradation, protein metabolism and nutrient signaling
Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, Tokyo Medical and Dental University
Noboru Mizushima graduated from School of Medicine at Tokyo Medical and Dental University in 1991, and received Ph.D. in 1996. He then moved to National Institute for Basic Biology as a post-doc and started works on autophagy in yeast and mammals in Dr. Yoshinori Ohsumi’s laboratory. He moved to Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science in 2004 as a laboratory head and made extensive studies on the physiological role of autophagy using mouse genetics. He was promoted to Professor of Physiology and Cell Biology, in Graduate School and School of Medicine at Tokyo Medical and Dental University in 2006. He was awarded the Young investigator award of the Japanese Biochemical Society in 2001, Mitsubishi Chemical Award of the Molecular Biology Society of Japan in 2005, FEBS Letters Young Scientist Award in 2007, JSPS (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science) Prize in 2008 and Inoue Prize for Science in 2009.
Mouse models of birth defects
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and Professor, University of Colorado, USA
Lee Niswander is Professor at the University of Colorado Denver, Section Head of Developmental Biology at The Children’s Hospital, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. She also is the co-director of the 6-week course in Embryology at the Marine Biological Labs in Wood Hole, MA. She has received a Pew Scholars award, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, and the Harland Winfield Mossman Developmental Biologist Award. Dr. Niswander’s research is focused on the genetic and cellular mechanisms that control embryonic development, particularly the processes required for closure of the neural tube and for development of the vertebrate limb and lung. Her approaches include forward genetic screens in mice to identify mutations that affect embryonic development, live imaging of the developing neural tube and lung, and determination of gene-environment interactions in particular the mechanisms by which folic acid influences the incidence of neural tube defects.
Protein transport across membranes
Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Harvard Medical School, USA
Tom Rapoport is Professor of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. He received his Ph.D. degree from Humboldt University, Berlin (East Germany), and his "Habilitation" from the same institution. Before assuming his current position, he was Professor of Cell Biology at the Academy of Sciences of East Germany and later at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Tom Rapoport has won numerous prizes including the Johannes-Müller-prize of the Society for Experimental Medicine, the Rudolf-Virchow-prize, the Otto-Warburg-Medaille of the GBM in the field of Biochemistry (2004), the Max Delbrück Medal and the Sir Hans Krebs Medal (2007).
Annals of Botany Lecture: Signal transduction cascades in higher plant cells
University of California, San Diego, USA
Julian Schroeder is Professor and Novartis Chair in Plant Sciences at the University of California San Diego. He received his PhD from the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen Germany with Erwin Neher. He carried out postdoctoral work as a von Humboldt Fellow at the UCLA School of Medicine. He has received an NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, the Charles Albert Shull Award from ASPB, and the Blasker Award in Environmental Science and Engineering from the SD Foundation and was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences. His research is directed at the signal transduction mechanisms and pathways that mediate resistance to environmental abiotic stresses in plants, in particular drought, salinity and heavy metal stress. These abiotic stresses have substantial negative impacts and reduce global plant growth and biomass production. Schroeder has pioneered studies of ion channel functions and molecular elucidation of signal transduction cascades in higher plant cells, examining the chain of events by which plant cells translate CO2 sensing, drought stress and salinity stress to specific resistance responses.
Regulation by ubiquitin and ubiquitin-like proteins
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Member, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, USA
Brenda Schulman is an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and a Member at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She is also Co-Director of the Program in Molecular Oncology at the St. Jude Cancer Center, and holds affiliate faculty positions at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine and Vanderbilt University. Schulman received her B.A. in Biology from the Johns Hopkins University in 1989. Following obtaining her Ph.D. in Biology from M.I.T. in 1996, she did postdoctoral studies in cell cycle research at Massachusetts General Hospital, and in X-ray crystallography at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. She has received a Pew Scholar Award in the Biomedical Sciences, a Beckman Young Investigator Award, and a U.S. Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. Her current research is focused on understanding the conjugation pathways for ubiquitin and ubiquitin-like proteins, and on the roles of these pathways in controlling cell division.
Andrew H.-J. Wang
Vice President and Distinguished Research Fellow, Institute of Biological Chemistry, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan
Professor Andrew Wang is a Distinguished Research Fellow at the Institute of Biological Chemistry at Academia Sinica. After receiving a Masters degree in chemistry from National Taiwan University in 1970, he gained a PhD in chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in 1974. He then held various research positions at Massachusetts Institute of Technology until 1988. From 1988 to 2000, he served as a faculty member of the Department of Cell and Structural Biology at the UIUC. In 2006, Andrew was appointed to his current position as a vice president of Academia Sinica. Andrew is widely-recognized for his use of interdisciplinary approaches to study complex biological systems such as structural enzymology. He became an Academician in 2000, and has been made a Fellow of several international institutions such as the Third World Academy of Sciences in 2005, the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1988, the American Institute of Chemists in 1987, and the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 1987. Andrew was also the recipient of the Taiwanese-American Foundation’s Science and Engineering Achievement Award in 2007. An active figure in advancing the development of sciences, Andrew serves as a council member of Human Proteomics Organization (HUPO) and has held presidency of three societies - the Taiwan Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2001 - 2004), the Biophysical Society of ROC (2001 - 2007) and the Taiwan Proteomics Society (2003 - 2006). He is president elect of the FAOBMB.
Federation Fellow, The University of Sydney, Australia.
Professor Peter Waterhouse has made pioneering contributions towards understanding the biology of gene silencing and the role of small RNAs in viral defence. He is internationally recognised for his ground-breaking research on plant viruses, and he led the way in uncovering the mechanism, roles and applications of post-transcriptional gene silencing in plants, also termed RNA interference (RNAi). Prof. Waterhouse completed his PhD in plant virology at the University of Dundee and the Scottish Crop Research Institute. He has been working in Australia for the past 25 years. He was Chief Research Scientist and leader of the Gene Silencing Laboratory at CSIRO Plant Industry before taking up a position as Federation Fellow at the University of Sydney in 2008. Prof. Waterhouse is a member of the editorial board/advisory committee of the journals Silence, Molecular Plant Pathology, and Plant Methods. He has received several awards, including the International Multimedia Telecommunications Consortium Thomson ISI Award as the CSIRO researcher with the most highly cited papers between 1998 and 2003. He was awarded the Victor Chang Medal (2002), the CSIRO Chairman's Medal (2005), was equal first in The Bulletin's 'Top Ten Smartest Scientists in Australia' (2006), and in 2007 won the Prime Minister's prize for Science. He was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 2009. He has numerous patents covering the applications of his discoveries.
The Biochemical Society/ ASBMB Joint Lecture: Therapeutic monoclonal antibodies
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Trinity College Cambridge University, UK
Sir Gregory Winter (FRS, CBE, FTSE) is a pioneer of protein engineering and therapeutic monoclonal antibodies, and an inventor and entrepreneur. He is currently the Deputy Director of the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology, and the Centre for Protein Engineering, Cambridge. In 1986, he invented techniques to humanize antibodies and to industrialize the discovery of fully human antibodies for therapeutic uses by antibody phage display technology. Most of the therapeutic antibodies on the market were developed using his inventions. Winter has founded three biotechnology companies based on his inventions. In 1989 he founded Cambridge Antibody Technology to develop human therapeutic antibodies; in 2000 Domantis, to develop antibodies based on single antigen-binding domains; and in 2009 Bicycle Therapeutics to develop small bicyclic peptides attached covalently to a chemical core. In 2006 CAT and Domantis were acquired by AstraZeneca and GSK respectively for a combined value of nearly GBP £1 bn. Winter has won several international prizes, including the Louis Jeantet Prize for Medicine (Switzerland) in 1989, the King Faisal International Prize for Medicine (Saudi Arabia) in 1995, the National Biotechnology Ventures Award (USA) in 2004, and the Biochemical Society Award (UK) in 2006. He is a Fellow of Trinity College, University of Cambridge and was knighted in 2004 for services to Science.
Plant abiotic stress tolerance
Professor, Department of Botany and Plant Sciences,
University of California USA
Jian-Kang Zhu is the Jane S. Johnson Professor of Plant Biology at the University of California, Riverside. He earned a bachelor’s in Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry from Beijing Agricultural University in 1987, a master’s in Botany from the University of California, Riverside, in 1990, followed by a doctorate in Plant Physiology from Purdue University in 1993. From 2004 to 2006, he served as director of the Institute for Integrative Genome Biology at UC Riverside. He has previously worked at other academic institutions such as the University of Arizona, Auburn University and Rockefeller University. As reported by Thomson Reuters, Dr. Zhu is the most cited plant scientist in the USA during 1997-2007. He is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a recipient of the Charles Albert Shull Award from the American Society of Plant Biologists for his outstanding contributions to plant biology. He was recognized as the Researcher of the Year in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Arizona in 2002, and received the Distinguished Agricultural Alumni Award from Purdue University in 2005.