2012 MSA Scientists of the Year
MSA Senior Research Scientist:
Dr. Franck Dyan, Plant Physiologist, Natural Products Utilization Research Unit (NPURU), Oxford, Mississippi.
Citation: “For scientific leadership and sustained research productivity on the mode of action of natural products and on their development as natural herbicides.”
In his 17 years as a scientist with USDA-ARS, Dr. Dayan has established a world-renowned research program investigating the mode of action of natural and synthetic phytotoxins. His often-cited work has been published in top-ranked journals, and he is recognized as an expert in the area of herbicide/natural products mode of action and herbicide resistance. Dr. Dayan’s work on the elucidation and manipulation of the biosynthesis and mode of action of sorgoleone (a natural phytotoxin) has been widely recognized. Genes discovered during this work have been patented or patent pending. One of these genes has been used to produce plants with the health-promoting neutraceutical, pterostilbene. Also, he has a patent pending on protecting the use of a novel herbicide resistant gene from hydrilla to develop transgenic crops with herbicide resistance
MSA Early Career Scientist:
Dr. Kim Cook, Research Microbiologist, Animal Waste Management Research Unit, Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Citation: “For creative research program investigating fastidious microbial populations important to human, animal and environmental health.”
Dr. Cook has conducted exceptional research and exhibited creativity in her approach to investigating important microbial pathogens (Mycobacterium and Campylobacter) and other organisms that produce odorous emissions and greenhouse gases in animal wastes and environmental systems. Dr. Cook’s discovery that watering troughs served as a hidden source for the causal organisms of Johne’s disease in dairy cows led to specific recommendations on trough construction material and chlorination treatments of the water. (Johne’s disease is a worldwide problem, with losses estimated at $200,000/herd of 1,000 dairy cows.) Dr. Cook’s research on Johne’s disease has been featured in newsletters from the International Association for Paratuberculosis and the National John’s Eradication Initiative.