Roger Slack Award 2017: Kimberley Snowden

We are pleased to announce the recipient of the Roger Slack Award in Plant Biology for 2017

as Dr Kimberley Snowden of Plant & Food Research.

Dr Snowden is a plant developmental biologist who has been working for some years on the control of branching in plants. Her work led to the publication in late 2012 of a landmark paper where she and her group were the first to identify the hormone receptor for strigolactones (SL): “DAD2 Is an α/β Hydrolase likely to Be Involved in the Perception of the Plant Branching Hormone, Strigolactone” Current Biology 22, 2032-2036. Further work by Dr Snowden has clarified the link between environmental signals and plant architecture, including nutrient deficits and light quality changes. Dr Snowden’s work has led to significant advances in the SL field by other groups, including the identification of target proteins that are degraded by the SL receptor-F-box complex, SL receptors from parasitic weeds, and further details on how the SL receptor enzyme activity is linked to conformational changes to the receptor. Her work has also made it possible to identify compounds that can affect the activity of SL receptors. Her research was recognised with an accompanying commentary in the issue of Current Biology that the receptor work was published, as a research highlight in Nature Structural and Molecular Biology and was also recommended by the Faculty of 1000. Her expertise in the reception of SL in plants was recently recognised by an invitation to write a News and Views article for Nature.

Congratulations to Kim on her achievement. Kim will be presenting a summary of her work at our upcoming annual meeting, Plant Science Central in Palmerston North on July 4th.


Photo Credit: Hui Wen Lee.  From left to right, some of the people involved in the award winning research: Revel Drummond, Cyril Hamiaux (back), Luke Luo (front), Bart Janssen, Kim Snowden, Prachi Sharma, Hui Wen Lee.

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