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LTAAward Bob Buchanan 10-08-1011-1012

LTAAward Bob Buchanan September 08, 2011- 2012 Ceremony

Ceremony of the Rebeiz Foundation for Basic Research Lifetime Achievement Award to Professor Bob Buchanan

Bob B. Buchanan was born in Richmond, Virginia, into a family descended from the Indian maiden, Pocahontas, and the Englishman, John Rolfe, who settled in the Virginia Colony in 1607. During World War II, when Bob was five, his family moved to the ancestral farm in Southwest Virginia. There Bob grew up, working on the farm and earning money that helped put him through college. He completed his bachelor's degree at Emory & Henry College, a small liberal arts institution near the farm, and graduated with a double major in biology and chemistry.

Bob scientific accomplishments are numerous and will be covered in more details in various testimonial displayed below.

Bob has received numerous awards. Some of the most significant are:
Election to the National Academy of Sciences (Plant Biology) in 1995. His citation reads: Buchanan is the leading investigator of regulatory mechanisms in photosynthesis, a position he earned by his discovery of the ferredoxin-thioredoxin system that regulates the enzymes of photosynthetic CO2 assimilation.

Buchanan and coworkers also discovered the ferredoxin-linked carboxylation enzymes and, more recently, a regulatory role for thioredoxin in the germination of cereal seeds.

He is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science since 1997

He also received the following awards:
The Charles F. Kettering Award for Excellence in Photosynthesis
The American Society of Plant Biologists (formerly Physiologists) - in 1998
The Stephen Hales Prize - of the American Society of Plant Biologists - in 2005
and now the2011 Rebeiz Foundation for Basic Research (RFFBR) Life Time Achievement Award

The Ceremony

The ceremony took place on Saturday September 8, 2012, at 5:00 pm at the RFFBR headquarters, at 2209 Edgewater Place, Champaign Illinois. About 70 guests, including several Foundation Board Directors (Christoph Benning, Govindjee, Archie Portis, Tom Sharkey Constantin A. Rebeiz, and Carole Rebeiz) attended the ceremony. Tino Rebeiz acted as Master of Ceremonies.

The ceremony consisted of a social hour, a buffet dinner accompanied by an assortment of wines from the Foundation cellar, and testimonials by:

Govindjee, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC)

Archie Portis, USDA and UIUC, representing Peter Schurman of the University of Neuchatel in Switzerland

Tom Sharkey Head of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Michigan State University at East Lansing) is representing Bill Ogren whoo is cruising the Rhine river with his ife Caroline. Bill Ogren was the 2010 recipient of the RFFBR, and a distinguished photosynthesis researcher.

Christoph Benning (Michigan State University at East Lansing) is filling in for Elizabeth Gant. Christoph is a Professor at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Michigan State University, a distinguished scholar and member of the Board of the Foundation. He will read to us a testimonial sent to us by Elisabeth Gantt, Emerita Distinguished University Professor, Dept. of Cell Biolo. and Molecular Genetics University of Maryland

Finally the last testimonial was sent to us by Roland Douce. Roalnd is Professeur Universite' Joseph Fourier et membre de l'Institut Universitaire de France. Departement de Biologie Moleculaire et S tructurale, Physiologie cellulaire et Commissariat de L 'Energie Atomique (CEA).
I will be reading his testimonial.

The ceremony was concluded with a Champagne toast to Bob.

A copy of the mahogany framed certificate of recognition to Bob Buchanan is shown below


C. A. Rebeiz (Tino) acted as Master of Ceremonies and introduced the various speakers.

Tino started by acknowledging the following members of the Board Directors of RFFBR who by casting their vote have chosen Bob Buchanan as the recipient of the 2011 Rebeiz Foundation Life Time Achievement Award. They are listed by alphabetical order below:

  • Thomas Bach, University of Strasbourg, France
  • Christoph Benning, Michigan State University
  • Don Bryant, University of Pennsylvania
  • Henry Daniell, Central Florida University
  • Govindjee, UIUC
  • William Lucas, University of California at Davis
  • Harald Paulsen, University of Munich
  • Archie Portis, Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois
  • Carole Rebeiz, RFFBR
  • Thomas Sharkey, Michigan State University, and
  • Baishnab C. Tripathy, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
  • Then Tino continued by acknowledging the painter Raheel for his latest paintings that are displayed all over the Foundation. Since Raheel is here he can point out to you his various paintings.

    Tino acknowledged also Don Rasch whose four paintings are in the East Dining Room and the TV Room.

    Finally Tino acknowledged Professor Joseph Kokini who served with great distinction as Associate Dean of Research in Aces (the UI college of Agriculture).

    Then Tino stated that in 1941, Alfred P. Sloan, Founder of he Sloan Foundation wrote the following:
    Too often we fail to recognize and pay tribute to the creative spirit. It is that spirit that creates our jobs. There has to be this pioneer, the individual who has the courage, the ambition, to overcome the obstacles that always develop when one tries to do something worthwhile, especially when it is new and different.

    Then Tino continued, we are gathered here tonight to honor the achievements of Bob Buchanan, an international scientist who made significant contributions to understanding the Regulation of Photosynthesis. I will not dwell on Bob's achievements as others more qualified than I will do this tonight. However I would like to reflect on the state of affairs in scientific undertakings. Broadly speaking scientific achievements fall into two categories:
    a. Current Dynamic achievements that push the frontiers of Science forward, and which are undertaken by working scientists and, no less important ,
    b. Past scientific achievements that have made their proof, and joined the Database of Human Knowledge by contributing to Global Consciousness.
    By recognizing the achievements of Bob Buchanan, we hope to encourage young scientists to build on Bob's work in inventing the future.

    Several of the speakers tonight will describe some of Bob's achievements. I would like to point out that these achievements are of universal value. With this said I would like to introduce tonight speakers.


    Govindjee, an expert photosynthesis scientist, a recipient of the first Foundation Life Time Achievement award, given in 2006, a member of the Foundation Board of Directors and a highly recognized scientist, will now take the Podium. Govindjee, the Podium is yours
    Govindjee presented a vivatious Power Point presentation about Bob.

    Click HERE to view Govindjee's Power Point Presentation

    The next testimonial about Bob will be given by Archie Portis who will read a testimonial sent to us by Peter Schurman, Professor Emeritus at the University of Neuchatel in Switzerland and a collaborator of Bob. Archie Portis is a member of the Board of Directors of the Foundation, a retired USDA Scientist and past Professor at the University of Illinois. He is a distinguished photosynthetic carbon fixation scientist.

    Archie Portis,
    Representing Peter Schurman

    Peter is Professor Emeritus at the University of Neuchatel in Switzerland and a collaborator of Bob.

    Peter stated,

    Bob Buchanan fully deserves this prestigious award for his many important scientific achievements in the field of bacterial and chloroplast metabolism and also for his effort to pass on his knowledge to the many thousands of students that followed his lectures. As a postdoc I had the opportunity to work with Bob and to get to know him as an enthusiastic researcher with a broad interest, profound knowledge and an excellent memory. I have experienced Bob as a very curious person, open to new ideas, and new projects. He also has a very strong will to overcome difficulties in research as well as in personal matters. Since my days in Berkeley a long lasting friendship has kept us in contact, scientifically and personally which I appreciate very much. I am really pleased that Bob receives this award from the Rebeiz Foundation today and I cordially congratulate him.

    The next testimonial will be delivered by Tom Sharkey. Tom is Head of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Michigan State University. He a distinguished scholar and member of the Board of the Foundation. He will deliver a testimonial sent to us by Bill Ogren.

    Tom Sharkey
    Representing Bill Ogren

    Bill Ogren is a recipient of the 5th Rebeiz Foundation LTAAward. He was Team leader of the USDA Photosynthesis Group at the University of Illinois

    Bill stated,

    I was delighted to learn that the Rebeiz Foundation is recognizing and honoring Bob Buchanan this year. His pioneering work establishing the fundamental role of thioredoxin in the light/dark regulation of photosynthetic CO2 fixation was a signature milestone in photosynthesis research. His subsequent work elucidating several roles of thioredoxin in nutrition, food quality and cereal yield provides compelling examples of Bob's lateral thinking. Extending his thioredoxin research in these new and important directions, far outside the original goal, superbly illustrates Bob's insightful imagination and creativity. Bob, please accept my warmest congratulations in receiving the Rebeiz Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award.

    The next testimonial will be delivered by Christoph Benning. Christoph is a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Michigan State University. He is a distinguished scholar and a member of the Board of Directors of the Foundation. He will read to us a testimonial sent to us by Elisabeth Gantt, Emerita Distinguished University Professor, Dept. of Cell Biology. and Molecular Genetics University of Maryland

    Christoph Benning
    Representing Elizabeth Gant

    Elizabeth Stated,

    I send might warmest congratulations to Bob on receiving this prestigious award. You have to appreciate that these congratulations have more oomph!, i.e. energy, since they are from the light-related side of photosynthesis. Our interactions came late in our careers, but I have been very appreciative of your advice and the opportunity to consult with a mature scientist. Being that we wish we are such youngsters, it is hoped that I will be able to send further tributes for your outstanding scientific accomplishments in the future.

    Finally the last testimonial was sent to us yesterday by Roland Douce. Roland is Professeur a l'Universite' Joseph Fourier et membre de l'Institut universitaire de France, Departement de Biologie Moleculaire et Structurale, Physiologie Cellulaire et Vegetale, Commissariat de l'Energie Atomique (CEA).
    I will be glad to present the testimonial on behalf of Roland.

    Tino Rebeiz
    representing Roland Douce stated,

    I consider Professor Bob Buchanan to be an absolutely outstanding scientist. I believe that the essential elements of his success are an understanding of plant metabolism that is quite exceptional in that it combines depth with breadth, a technical competence, an incredebly sharp perception of what are the next most important questions to be asked and unflagging industry and enthusiasm. His contributions to our present understanding of the activation by light of the Benson-Calvin cycle is quite outstanding. Bob Buchanan is respected and admired throughout the world of plant biochemistry. He is always straight in business and I must say that his admirable personal qualities make him unique" .

    Now it is time to present Bob with the Foundation Recognition Certificate and an envelope containing an additional Award. Bob Please step to my right.and Melinda to my left

    From Left to Riight Diane Portis, bob Buchanan, Tino Rebeiz, Melinda Buchanan

    Congratulations, Bob!

    To end the ceremony, I would like to propose a Champagne Toast to Bob's achievements. Please grab a glass of Champagne from the breakfast room counter and let us have a toast in about 10 minutes when everyone has a glass in hand.

    Champaign Toast to Bob

    After the Champagne toast please have some dessert, as well as some sweet sherry liqueur and coffee or tea. Dessert consists of cakes, and a Semoulina Sweet called Nammoura.

    You may linger around and socialize until you feel like going home. Thank you for being here tonight.

    Several Photo Collages of various aspects of the ceremony are displayed below. You can enlarge the Collages by Zooming in or by Zooming to full page. The photos were Taken by Laurent Gasquet of LG Photography



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    The End