Jiming Jiang invested as an MSU Foundation Professor

  • Nov 30, 2017
  • Endowed Professor, Plant science, Faculty, Award
  • Homepage Hero, Alumni, Faculty & Staff, Research, College of Natural Science, Plant Biology

Jiming Jiang receives his MSU Foundation Professor medallion from Stephen Hsu, vice president for research and graduate studies at MSU.

Jiming Jiang (left) receives his MSU Foundation Professor medallion from Stephen Hsu, vice president for research and graduate studies at MSU, to mark the occasion of his formal investiture into this elite group of MSU faculty. Photo by Harley Seeley

Michigan State University plant biologist Jiming Jiang was formally recognized as an MSU Foundation Professor on Nov. 29 at an investiture ceremony held in the MSU Wharton Center's Jackson Lounge.

Established in 2014, the professorships are part of an initiative to attract and retain highly successful faculty members. Recipients of the award receive five years of supplemental research support and hold the MSU Foundation Professor designation permanently.

“I feel very humbled to receive this professorship,” said Jiang, who holds joint appointments with the Department of Plant Biology in NatSci and the Department of Horticulture in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “The fund associated with this professorship will be a tremendous help to jump start my new lab here at MSU. We are interested in studying gene expression and regulation related to plant responses to environmental stresses.”

Jiang conducts research that aims to understand gene expression and regulation under abiotic stresses such as heat, cold and drought. He also investigates centromeres as models for how epigenetic changes are associated with a plant’s ability to grow, develop and survive.

“We are ecstatic to have Jiming Jiang as part of our team,” said R. James Kirkpatrick, College of Natural Science (NatSci) dean. “His research productivity, innovative thinking, quality teaching and leadership places him at the very top of his field. We look forward to more great things from Dr. Jiang!”

Jiang received his Ph.D. in genetics from Kansas State University where he also conducted postdoctoral work in plant pathology before continuing his studies at Yale University’s genetics department. Jiang has received several honors in recognition of his research, including being named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and is one of the most highly regarded scientists in his field, earning the Thomson Reuters Most Highly Cited Researcher honor in 2014.

Danny Schnell, Department of Plant Biology chair, congratulated Jiang on the honor.

“The department is very proud to have faculty of Dr. Jiang’s stature on the faculty,” Schnell said. “Jiming is a world leader in the area of plant genomics, and his laboratory has made fundamental breakthroughs in understanding the functional organization of genes in both plants and animals. His work has contributed significantly to establishing MSU as a leading research and training center in quantitative and computational plant biology, a critical area for understanding both fundamental and applied aspects of plant biology and agriculture in the 21st century.”

“It is wonderful to have Dr. Jiang as a faculty member in the MSU Department of Horticulture,” added Vance Baird, horticulture department chair. “The scientific expertise he contributes complements and adds a new dimension to our repertoire – enhancing our ability to contribute new knowledge to the discipline, meet our land-grant mission and provide a high-quality educational experience for our students.”

Jiang is also an MSU AgBioResearch faculty member.

Jiang joins 30 other MSU researchers and professors who have been named MSU Foundation Professors over the past four years (2014-2017), and brings the total number of NatSci MSU Foundation Professors to 19.

Banner image: MSU plant biologist Jiming Jiang was formally invested as an MSU Foundation Professor on Nov. 29. Jiang is one of only 30 members universitywide belonging to this elite group of MSU faculty. Photo by Harley Seeley.