Yale Professor Wins Prestigious 2003 Kumho Science International Award in Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology

Xing-Wang Deng, professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology, is the recipient of the 2003 Kumho Science International Award in Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology.

Deng, who is also director of the Peking-Yale Center for Plant Molecular Genetics and Agrobiotechnology, is the fourth recipient of the award. He will travel to Kwagju, Korea in June to accept the award and to deliver an award lecture at the Kumho Life and Environmental Engineering Laboratory.

“The previous winners are very accomplished in their fields and I am really honored to be included in the same company as them,” said Deng. “The Kumho award is also an endorsement of what we have been doing here at Yale.”

Deng’s research focuses on how light affects plant development. “We use genetic, genomic and molecular tools to address the question of how light regulates plant growth and how a plant can sense the light signals and use them to regulate its own development and growth behavior,” said Deng.

In his role as Director of the Peking-Yale Center for Plant Molecular Genetics and Agrobiotechnology, Deng supports a research and training program in plant biology that provides unprecedented opportunities for manipulation of the plant genome.

Understanding the plant genome can lead to a deeper knowledge of the mechanism and regulation of plant defenses, hormonal regulation, bioengineering of plant shape and size and many other areas. Research at the center is concentrated in the field of basic biology in the model plant system Arabidopsis and on the application of this basic research to crop improvement-an area of critical importance to both China and the United States with broad implications for humanity in general.

The Kumho Cultural Foundation of Korea began giving its annual awards in 2000. The prize is given to scientists for meritorious research in plant molecular biology and biotechnology.

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Karen N. Peart: karen.peart@yale.edu, 203-432-1326