Palo Alto, CA— Director Emeritus of Carnegie’s Department of Plant Biology, Winslow Briggs, will be awarded the prestigious International Prize for Biology from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science at a ceremony in Tokyo November 30, held in the presence of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan. Briggs is being honored for his work on light sensing by plants. 

The prize was formed in 1985 by the Committee on the International Prize for Biology of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science “to commemorate the 68-year reign of Emperor Showa and his longtime devotion to biological research.” It is awarded every year to a researcher who “has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of basic research in the field of biology.”
Briggs is an international leader in molecular biological research on how plants respond to light for growth and development and for understanding blue-light photoreceptor systems. Briggs was director of Carnegie’s Department of Plant Biology from 1973 to 1993 and is now director emeritus actively running his lab. Before Carnegie, he was a professor at the Department of Biology at Harvard University, where he also received his A.B., M.A., and Ph. D. 

Director of the Carnegie department, Wolf Frommer commented: “The work of Dr. Briggs on blue-light receptors in plants and microbes has been a major milestone for our understanding of how organisms detect light, which allows them to respond to environmental changes. The award recognizes the pioneering work of Dr. Briggs in this field.”

“Carnegie congratulates Winslow on this well-deserved award,” stated Carnegie president Richard Meserve. “His scientific accomplishments, dedication, and the mentoring of the next generation are a model for us all.”

Among his many professional affiliations, Briggs was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1974 and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1975. He is a member of the Botanical Society of America, the American Society of Plant Physiologists, the American Society of Photobiology, and the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences. He has served on numerous committees including as co-chair of the Gordon Conference on Photoreceptor in Plants, Animals,  and Microorganisms;  the chair of the Gordon Conference on Plant Molecular Biology; and chair of the Botany Section of the National Academy of Sciences. His awards include the 2007 Adolph E. Gude, Jr., Award from the American Society of Plant Biologists. 

Briggs will receive a cash award, medal, and an Imperial gift from His Majesty the Emperor. For more about the award see
News Topic: 
Plant Genetics