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Michael Grusak Is a "Scientist of the Year" / February 12, 2003 / News from the USDA Agricultural Research Service

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Photo: Plant physiologist Michael Grusak examines roots of hydroponically grown green bean plants. Link to photo information
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National news release

News story about Grusak's research (Nov. 1999)


Michael Grusak Is a "Scientist of the Year"

By Alfredo Flores
February 12, 2003

BELTSVILLE, Md., Feb. 12—Michael A. Grusak, a plant physiologist with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), has been named the agency’s “Southern Plains Area Senior Research Scientist of 2002." ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency. The agency’s Southern Plains Area includes Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico.

Grusak, who works at the ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center in Houston, Texas, is being honored for his efforts to enhance the nutritional quality of food crops and for leadership in promoting interdisciplinary research between plant and human nutrition scientists.

Edward B. Knipling, ARS Acting Administrator, will present a plaque to Grusak at a 1 p.m. ceremony today at the agency's Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center here. Grusak and other award winners will also receive cash awards and additional research funding.

Grusak is recognized internationally for his scientific contributions in the field of plant iron nutrition. He has focused his attention on how the absorption and handling of this essential micronutrient is regulated by plants, and how this regulation can be modified to enhance the iron content of edible tissues.

Improving iron content in plant foods is currently a goal of many national and international research teams, because iron deficiency anemia is estimated to afflict one-third of the world's population. This represents approximately 2 billion people, including certain U.S. population groups.

Grusak is credited with 55 publications, including 36 as first author. Forty-three of those publications have been published during his nearly 14-year career as an ARS scientist. Grusak has also been awarded eight competitive grants in the past three years for research in plant nutritional physiology and human nutrition science.

Grusak received his B.S. in biology from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, in 1979. He earned his M.S. and Ph.D in botany, both from the University of California, Davis, in 1982 and 1985 respectively.

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Last Modified: 2/12/2003
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