2016 Distinguished Researcher Award: Thomas Guilfoyle
Thomas Guilfoyle has been a member of the University of Missouri community since 1986. He is known throughout the world for his research on the biology behind the plant hormone auxin and the holistic effects it has on plant growth and development. During his career, he has identified the genes regulated by auxin, the proteins that control those genes and the overall framework for integrating how auxin regulates those transcriptional processes. His research has appeared in 106 publications, including Science and Nature twice.
"To this day, Tom is sought out by his colleagues for his careful and thoughtful analyses of an experiment, a paper, or, in my case, section of the Plant Physiology and Development textbook," said Angus Murphy, professor and chair of plant science and landscape architecture, University of Maryland.
Guilfoyle, who is also a member of the Interdisciplinary Plant Group, received the American Society of Plant Biologists’ Lawrence Bogorad Award for Excellence in Plant Biology Research in 2014. He also spent several years as an editor of The Plant Cell academic journal.
"He has consistently presented creative and novel ideas, adapted emerging technologies to test them, made sense of the results, and placed them in a larger framework to really explain puzzling aspects of plant physiology," said Bruce McClure, professor of biochemistry at MU. "His career-long efforts connect plant physiology to the most basic molecular processes and provide intellectual and physical tools for further advances."
Tom's willingness to share ideas and 'talk about auxin' sets him apart in a field that tends to be taciturn when sharing unpublished data. As a result, he has been included as a collaborator on many projects from around the world - I suspect this is from his sharing his ideas into problems and leading others to an 'Aha!' moment.
Lucia Strader, assistant professor of biology, Washington University