New frontiers in molecular bioscience topic of UD symposium

05/03/05

"Marine and Terrestrial Molecular Bioscience: New Frontiers," a symposium featuring internationally recognized scholars to honor John S. Boyer, E.I. du Pont Professor of Marine Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of Delaware who is retiring from the faculty, will be held on Tuesday, June 7, at the John M. Clayton Conference Center on the UD campus in Newark, Del.

The symposium, which is sponsored by the UD College of Marine Studies, the Delaware Sea Grant College Program and the Delaware Biotechnology Institute, will highlight exciting advances and new frontiers in marine and terrestrial molecular bioscience, from plant to fisheries studies, with special attention to future research directions with high potential for scientific discovery, linkages with other scientific disciplines and environmental and societal benefits, all of which have been hallmarks of Boyer's career.

Guest speakers will be Roger Beachy, president of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis; Susan Brawley, professor, School of Marine Sciences, University of Maine; Colin Brownlee, deputy director and senior research fellow, Marine Biological Association, Plymouth, United Kingdom; Anthony J. Cavalieri, conservation agriculture adviser, The Nature Conservancy, Arlington, Va.; John Heidelberg, assistant investigator, The Institute for Genomic Research, Rockville, Md.; Ganesh Kishore, vice president for science and technology, DuPont Co.; Ralph Quatrano, Spencer T. Olin Professor and chairman of the biology department, Washington University, St. Louis; Bernard Rees, associate professor, University of New Orleans; and Norman Wagner, professor of chemical engineering, University of Delaware.

Boyer's research has focused on understanding how drought conditions and saline soils inhibit plant growth, and whether or not plants can recover from this stress and resume growth. His studies of water stress in marine plants such as the large-celled alga Chara corallina have been applied to corn and other important agronomic crops.

A prolific author, he has written more than 150 peer-reviewed scientific articles and two books. In 2003, he was listed by the Institute for Scientific Information as one of the 250 most-cited scientists in the world in the plant and animal sciences.

Among Boyer's many accolades, in 1990, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors that can be bestowed upon a scientist in the United States. In 2004, he was elected a Corresponding Member of the Australian Academy of Science, a distinction reserved for scientists "who are eminent in respect of scientific discoveries and attainments" but who do not normally reside in Australia.

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