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Andre Jagendorf got his B.A. in Plant Physiology in1948 at Cornell University, Ithaca N.Y. He was awarded a Ph.D. degree in 1951
from Yale University, New Haven Connecticut. Professor David Bonner, was his thesis advisors.
Wolfgang Junge, was born in 1940 in Berlin. He majored in Physics at the Technical University of Berlin (Dipl.-Ing., 1966). He was awarded a Ph.D.degree in 1968 in Physical Chemistry from the TU-Berlin. Professor Horst Tobias Witt was his thesis advisor.
Wolfgang received many honors. Some are listed below:
The ceremony took place on Saturday September 28, 2013, at 5:30 pm at the Rebeiz Organization headquarters, at 2209 Edgewater Place, Champaign Illinois. Over 65 guests, including Five Foundation Board Directors (Christoph Benning, Govindjee, Tom Sharkey, Constantin A. Rebeiz, and Carole Rebeiz) attended the ceremony. The ceremony consisted of a social hour, a buffet dinner accompanied by an assortment of wines, and several testimonials. Christoph Benning, Michigan State University read a testimonial sent by Roland Schmid, Retired Research Assistant, University of Osnabrueck; Other testimonials were contributed by Govindjee, Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois; Tom Sharkey, Head of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Michigan State University who read a testimonial sent by Chanoch Carmeli, Professor Emeritus, at the University of Tel Aviv; Robert Gennis, Professor of Biochemistry, Chemistry, Biophysics and Computational Biology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Campus who read a testimonial sent by Richard McCarthy, a Professor Emeritus at Cornell University, Dean of the school of Art and Sciences at John Hopkins University. The ceremony was concluded with a Champagne toast to Andre.
C. A. Rebeiz (Tino) acted as Master of Ceremonies and introduced the various speakers.
He started by welcoming the guests to the Jagendorf-Junge Award Ceremony then acknowledged the following Members of the Board of the Foundation who by casting their vote chose Andre Jagendorf and Wolfgang Junge as recipients of the 2012 Rebeiz Foundation Life Time Achievement Award. By alphabetical order, he thanked:
Then Tino acknowledged Neil Schurter, the new lawyer of the Foundation as well as Raheel and Don Rash for their latest additions to the painting collection of the Foundation.
Then Tino stated: Twenty years ago I wrote that: Meaningful scientific discoveries are those that help humans achieve a better understanding of themselves, of their environment and of the universe at large, as well as those that contribute to the betterment of the human, spiritual, psychological and physical conditionâ. The discoveries of Andre and Wolfgang have certainly contributed to a better understanding of how a molecule as important as ATP is formed by Plants in the Biosphere. Several of the speakers tonight, who in their own right are outstanding scientists, will describe some of Andre and Wolfgang achievements. These achievements are of universal value and are part of the database of human knowledge. With this said I would like to introduce tonight speakers:
Roland Schmid will give the first testimonial about Wolfgang and Andre. Roland is a retired research assistant at Osnabrueck University. He was the first PhD-student of Wolfgang Junge and an early postdoc in the laboratory of Andrehi Jagendorf. Christoph Benning of Michigan State University will read the testimonial. Christoph is a very well known chloroplast lipid researcher, editor in chief of the Journal of Plant Science and a member of the board of the RFFBR. Roland stated:
With pleasure I heard, that the 2012 LTAAward went to A.T. Jagendorf and W. Junge. I am very excited and congratulate the foundation for this decision, because these two scientists have made outstanding and convincing contributions to the bioenergetics of photosynthetic ATP-synthesis.
I was the first PhD-student of Wolfgang and a postdoc in the lab of Andre. Both have taught me, how to work successfully in science and to remain an integer character. In 1970, looking for a Thesis, I became aware of Wolfgang and his scientific interests. At our first meeting, I was immediately fascinated by meeting a person with such a keen intellect and unique creativity. Because of his extremely fast grasp he was designated in the community of younger scientists from Bristol as a "Whizkid of photosynthesis". "A short time before, he had solved ingeniously the long lasting mystery about the absorption change at 520 nm, whose kinetics could not be attributed to the changes in the electron transport chain. With these results in mind, he guided me closely in designing experiments about the conductance of the thylakoid membrane. During these enthusiastic investigations we extracted and reconstituted also the coupling factor of photophosphorylation. This was the starting point for a long series of Wolfgang investigations in the following decades leading to the demonstration of the rotation of CF1 and the elucidation of the involved mechanics.
Coming as postdoc to Cornell, I ran into a second extraordinary, highly intellectual person. In the early 1970's, as Mitchell's hypothesis was being discussed with passion, André had made three experiments, which were milestones in the development of bioenergetics. He demonstrated the movement of protons into the thylakoids, the production of ATP in an acid-base jump experiment and a conformational change during ATP-synthesis. In particular the second observation was a first clear proof, that the Mitchell theory is correct. In addition to such a success his modesty and his humanity are unforgettable. Although we worked in the lab on a long leash, his spirit was always present and created an innovative and creative atmosphere, which stimulated our work tremendously. When there was a setback, we were always cheered up by one of André's famous jokes.
Then Govindjee, an expert Photosynthesis scientist, a recipient of the 2006 first Foundation Life Time Achievement award, a Member of the Foundation Board and a highly recognized scientist, gave a vibrant Power Point testimonial about Andre.
Click HERE to view Govindjee's testimonial on behalf of Andre
Tom Sharkey delivered the next testimonial about Andre. Tom is Head of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Michigan State University, a distinguished scholar and member of the Board of the Foundation. He delivered a testimonial sent to us by Chanoch Carmeli. Chanoch is Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Tel Aviv. His research involved the effect of PSI in the formation of Nano-Biovoltaic devices.
The testimonial read:
Andre Jagendorf, a brilliant and an original scientist has made seminal contributions to the development of photophosphorylation and the elucidation of its mode of action. His numerous breakthrough findings established him as a world leader in this field of science. He was a major force among the pioneers that established the presence of photophosphorylation in defiance of the common knowledge prevailing at that time that photosynthesis produces oxygen and reduces CO2 while plant mitochondria produced ATP. He has established that ADP is the substrate of photophosphorylation and did carful evaluation of the mechanism of coupling between electron transport and phosphorylation. In search for the elusive intermediate that transfers the redox energy to the synthesis of ATP he devise a simple but ingenious light dark experiment where ATP was generated in the dark by pre-illuminated chloroplasts. Being extremely critical of his own experimental results, he realized that more ATP was produced than expected from the stoichiometry of the electron transfer chains. That finding led him to consider the chemiosmotic hypothesis as an alternative mechanism. In ingenious set of experiments, he showed light induced formation of pH changes by chloroplasts and the formation of ATP by transferring chloroplasts from acid to base in the dark.
In view of the prevailing theory that assumed the involvement of a hypothetical phosphorylated intermediate and the lack of credible experimental results in support of the chemiosmotic hypothesis his experiment revolutionized the field. Those breakthrough findings paved the way for a new field in science that led to confirmation of the chemiosmotic theory.
During his scientific career Andre Jagendorf proved himself as a nonconformist who broke new grounds in science using a rare combination of imagination, meticulous scrutiny of experimental results and the ability to devise ingenious experiments that gave answers to major unsolved mechanisms in science.
Robert Gennis delivered the Last testimonial about Andre. Robert is a well-known Professor of Biochemistry, Chemistry, Biophysics and computational Biology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Campus. His research is also in the area of Bioenergetics of Photosynthesis. He read a testimonial sent to us by Richard McCarthy. Richard is a well-known Professor Emeritus at Cornell University, and Dean of the school of Art and Sciences at John Hopkins University.
The testimonial stated: Greetings, Andre?, and congratulations! In the spring of 1959 when I was a junior, Andre? offered a lecture course and a separate lab course in plant physiology at Johns Hopkins. I was the only student to sign up for the lab course. Then, as now, plants are not the favorite organisms of premed students. Instead of following experiments in a lab manual, Andre? suggested that I carry out research in his lab. What he likely does not know is that my experiences in his lab changed my life. He and his colleagues at Hopkins instilled in me a fascination for photosynthesis that has not diminished after more than sixty-four years. Andre's gentle guidance of my research during my undergraduate and graduate years was perfect for me. I made many mistakes, but learned much from figuring out how to correct some of them. Thank you as well, Andre for being such a congenial and helpful colleague for the nearly twenty-five years I was on Cornel'sfaculty. Congratulations again on receiving this richly deserved award.
Click HERE to view Govindjee's testimonial about Wolfgang
The next Testimonial About Wolfgang was delivered by Colin Wraight. Colin is a well-known Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics and Computational Biology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Campus. His research is in the area of Bioenergetics of Photosynthesis and the effects of Protein Structure on Protein Function. Colin stated:
Wolfgang Junge is a direct contemporary of mine. He was a graduate student in Horst Witt's lab in Berlin in the late 1960's, when Baz Jackson and I were students in Tony Crofts' lab in Bristol. Witt's group was the premier lab for research into the kinetics of rapid events in photosynthesis, while the Bristol groups of Tony Crofts, Brian Chappell and Peter Garland were the frontline supporters of Peter Mitchell's chemiosmotic theory of energy coupling.
When Baz and I attended the first International Photosynthesis Conference at Freudenstad, in 1967, there was little evidence that Witt's group was even thinking about energy coupling. And yet, within a year, they were leaders in this new and contentious field, galvanized by Wolfgang's brilliant insight that the large, light-induced absorbance changes in the spectrum of chlorophyll b were a voltage sensor. These electrochromic effects indicated the generation, decay and utilization of an electric potential across the chloroplast membrane. Baz had observed similar spectral changes ("band shifts") in the carotenoids of photosynthetic bacteria, and from that point on all our futures were very much entwined.
This seminal contribution was only the beginning for Wolfgang. With a deep understanding of physics and an exceptionally quick mind, he established himself as a bold and authoritative spokesman for the chemiosmotic theory. This was based on innovative experimentation but was aided by his impressive facility with English, an unmatched clarity of thinking, and a wonderful wit, which made his seminars and conference presentations very compelling.
Using a variety of spectroscopic signals, Wolfgang was able to observe the complete cycle of charge flow across the thylakoid membrane - from the purely electronic charge flow in the photosynthetic reaction center, to the uptake of protons that move the charge into the aqueous medium, followed by the consumption of protonic current in ATP synthesis. It was a tour de force.
Wolfgang's subsequent research focused on the mechanism of the ATPase/synthase, including single molecule studies. This was typically innovative and insightful work and led to the first explicit model of the ATP synthase as two rotary motors (proton driven and ATP driven) acting on the same shaft. This is now an iconic image.
It has been a genuine pleasure to know Wolfgang for the last 45 years. Our meetings have almost invariably been at conferences, where his wit, honesty and scientific insight made such event worth attending. Indeed, almost the first thing I do before deciding whether to attend a meeting is to check whether Wolfgang is on the program. Despite long periods when we did not meet, the feelings of friendship and admiration have never dimmed.
Now it is time to present Andre and Wolfgang with the Foundation This is the content for Layout P TagRecognition Certificates and an envelope containing the additional Awards.
Andre Please step to my right and Wolfgang to my left.A photo of the award handing process is reported below and congratulations for both of you
Thank you for being here tonight and participating in the CeremonySeveral 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
Ceremony Collage 2