2017 Anton Lang Memorial Award winners announced

  • May 26, 2017
  • Plant science, Students, Award
  • Faculty & Staff, Research, Students, Plant Research Laboratory

Clement Aussignargues and Joshua MacCready were awarded 2017 Anton Lang Memorial Awards during a ceremony held by the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory on May 8 at Michigan State University’s Molecular Plant Sciences Building.

The Anton Lang Memorial Fund was established in honor of the founding director of the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory, who died in 1996. In conjunction with the annual seminar, awards are made to a graduate student and a postdoctoral research associate who exemplify the research excellence, ideas, dedication and vision of Anton Lang. The awardees receive a gift and a cash award, and their names are added to a permanent plaque located outside of the Anton Lang Conference Room.

Clement Aussignargues

Clement Aussignargues

Aussignargues, who works in Professor Cheryl Kerfeld’s lab, won the postdoctoral award. The Kerfeld lab wants to repurpose microcompartments, found in a wide range of bacteria, as tailored nano-factories to produce chemicals and renewable energy (such as biofuels or medicine).

Aussignargues was able to engineer a building block of the microcompartment’s outer shell to bind a metal cofactor, which allows electrons to move to and from these microcompartments. The finding is a major step towards controlling desired chemical reactions within those microcompartments.

“Receiving this award and being part of the PRL’s history is a tremendous honor for which I am extremely grateful,” Aussignargues said. “The collaborative aspect in this project, both inside and outside of the PRL, was very important and, without it, it would have been extremely difficult to complete this work.”

Joshua MacCready

Joshua MacCready

MacCready, who works in Assistant Professor Danny Ducat’s lab, won the graduate student award.

“I’m pleased to have been selected for such an honor,” MacCready said. “I owe many thanks to the PRL and the entire plant biology community at MSU for helping me succeed.”

MacCready studies how protein-self organization controls the positioning of cellular division in cyanobacteria.

Proceeds from the fund also support the Anton Lang Memorial Lecture—given this year by Dr. Richard Vierstra from Washington University in St. Louis, Mo.