Noble Foundation researcher receives international honor
Noble Foundation Professor Michael Udvardi, Ph.D., has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science--the world's largest general scientific society. Election as an AAAS Fellow is the highest honor bestowed by the organization.
This year, 702 members from around the world were selected as Fellows because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. New Fellows, who are nominated by their peers, will be presented with an official certificate and a gold and blue rosette pin at 8 a.m., Feb. 16, 2013, at the AAAS Fellows Forum during the 2013 AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston, Mass.
"On behalf of the Board of Trustees and Noble Foundation staff, we congratulate Dr. Udvardi on being named an AAAS Fellow. This is a tremendous accomplishment," said Bill Buckner, president and CEO of the Noble Foundation. "Dr. Udvardi continues to distinguish himself as one of the top researchers, not just in plant science, but in all of the scientific community."
As part of the Agriculture, Food and Renewable Resources section, Udvardi was elected as an AAAS Fellow for his distinguished contributions to the field of legume biology and genomics, particularly for explaining the biochemical features of the rhizobium-legume symbiosis.
"I am honored that my research has been recognized by the AAAS and my peers. This is a career milestone and one that I truly appreciate," Udvardi said. "I look forward to applying the results of our fundamental research to agricultural problems in our region and around the world."
Udvardi's research is focused on understanding the molecular genetic basis of important plant processes, including symbiotic nitrogen fixation, seed development, nutrient cycling and adaptation to abiotic stresses such as drought and salinity.
In the past year, Udvardi, along with fellow Noble researchers Rujin Chen and Kiran Mysore, earned a $6.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to expand research aimed at understanding and enhancing symbioses with legumes that are crucial for sustainable agriculture. The grant was the second largest ever received by the Noble Foundation in its 67-year history.
The tradition of AAAS Fellows began in 1874. Currently, members can be considered for the rank of Fellow if nominated by the steering groups of the Association's 24 sections, by any three Fellows who are current AAAS members (but not affiliated with the nominee's institution) or by the AAAS chief executive officer.
Each steering group then reviews the nominations of individuals within its respective section and a final list is forwarded to the AAAS Council, which votes on the aggregate list. The council is the policymaking body of the association, chaired by the AAAS president and consists of the members of the board of directors, retiring section chairs, delegates from each electorate and regional division, and two delegates from the National Association of Academies of Science.
The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Inc. (www.noble.org), headquartered in Ardmore, Okla., is an independent, nonprofit institute conducting plant science research, plant breeding and agricultural programs to enhance agricultural productivity, which influences agriculture regionally, nationally and internationally. The Noble Foundation also provides grants to nonprofit charitable, educational and health organizations.