Researcher of the Year for 2002

Kirksville Chapter of Sigma Xi

News Release:  September 17, 2002

Buckner Named "Reseacher of the Year"

The Kirksville Chapter of Sigma Xi has named Brent Buckner, Ph.D., as the "Researcher of the Year" for 2002.  In making the award, Michael Goggin, Ph.D., Past-President of the Kirksville Chapter of Sigma Xi, said "Brent has been a very successful researcher who has managed to make his research part of the classes he teaches."  Dr. Buckner is currently an Associate Professor of Biology at Truman State University.  He received his B.S. degree from Lock Haven State University of Pennsylvania, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Vermont.  Prior to coming to Truman State University, Buckner did post-doctoral training at Iowa State University.

Buckner's research focuses on the molecular biology of corn.  He has isolated and characterized some of the genes that control production of carotenoids.  Carotenoids are the chemical compounds that give plants their yellow and red colors.  These compounds are involved in capturing light for photosynthesis and protecting the plant from reactive by-products of photosynthesis.  Dr. Buckner is also studying genes that are involved in controlling cell death in plants.  In addition to conducting his own research, Buckner has supervised the research projects of more than 20 undergraduate and graduate students at Truman State University.  Buckner was characterized by one of his colleagues as having "an uncanny ability to get people involved and enthused about whatever he is talking about or is doing.  ...  His exacting standard is reflected in the students that he trains, so it is no wonder his students are actively sought by maize researchers all over the U.S."

As part of Sigma Xi's outreach to the community, Buckner will give a talk for non-scientists entitled "Biotechnology, It's All Around Us: An Introduction to Genetically Modified Organisms".  This lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be at 7pm on Thursday, October 3, 2002 in the Kirksville RIII High School Library.

Sigma Xi is a national honor society for science and engineering, dedicated to promoting scientific enterprise and honoring scientific achievements.  The Kirksville Chapter was founded in 1989 and is comprised principally of faculty and students from Truman State University and Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine.  The "Researcher of the Year" award is given annually to a scientist from Northeastern Missouri whose research is considered particularly meritorious.

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Created:  September 23, 2002.  Last update:  September 23, 2002

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