Carnegie’s Winslow Briggs Elected Einstein Professor, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Palo Alto, CA— Director Emeritus of Carnegie’s Department of Plant Biology, Winslow Briggs,has been elected an Einstein Professor by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). The professorship program annually awards 20 distinguished international scientists the honor. The recipients participate in lecture tours throughout China to strengthen international science and technology cooperation and train the next generation of Chinese scientists.

Briggs is an international leader in molecular biology research relating to plant responses to light and to photoreceptor systems in plants. Briggs was director of Carnegie’s Department of Plant Biology from 1973 to 1993 and is now director emeritus, remaining an active researcher. 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: “Briggs’s work on blue-light receptors in plants and microbes has been pivotal for understanding how organisms detect light and respond to environmental changes. His work is important to all aspects of biology including medical and agricultural research.”

Carnegie president Richard Meserve remarked that “Briggs is a popular mentor and a remarkably productive scientist. He is an excellent choice for the Chinese professorship and lecture tours. We are proud of him.”

Visiting Einstein professors come for two weeks each visit at two or more CAS institutes in two Chinese cities. They deliver a lecture at each institution and carry out in-depth academic discussions with Chinese scientists and students.

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: he was 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 and prestigious 2009 International Prize for Biology from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.