The Fellow Award recognizes current members of the SIVB who have been active members for at least 10 years. A Fellow has made outstanding contributions in their area of specialization or discipline to include research, teaching, and administration in public, government, academic, or private industry activities. The Society for In Vitro Biology honored Michael E. Kane, Lia H. Campbell, Daniel C. W. Brown, and Pamela J. Weathers with the SIVB Fellow Awards at the 2009 In Vitro Biology Meeting.

Michael E. Kane

Michael E. Kane

Dr. Michael Kane was a recipient of the SIVB Fellow Award at the 2009 Society for In Vitro Biology Meeting in Charleston, SC.  Dr. Kane earned a B.Sc. degree in Natural Resources (Aquatic Plant Ecology), a M.Sc. degree in Botany, and a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences (Aquatic Botany), all from the University of Rhode Island.  He then received postdoctoral training in the Environmental Horticulture Department at the University of Florida (Gainesville, FL).  He became an Assistant Professor in the Environmental Horticulture Department at the University of Florida in 1987, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 1992 and Professor in 1999.  Sine 2005 he has served as Assistant Chair of the Environmental Horticulture Department at the University of Florida, and since 2006 he has been the recipient of the Marion & Virginia Roche Professorship for Teaching Excellence.  His outstanding contributions in the areas of Research, Teaching and Service make him an ideal recipient of the SIVB Fellow Award.

Dr. Michael Kane has made significant contributions to research and is internationally recognized for his contributions to general plant tissue culture, plant growth and development research, and the use of plant micropropagation techniques in habitat restoration and conservation.  His research efforts emphasize the use of micropropagation systems for genotypic selection and production of aquatic/wetland plants, coastal plants, and native orchids.  The primary goal of his research is to develop environmentally sound production methods to support plant reintroduction and habitat restoration.  Dr. Kane’s research has provided a fundamental underpinning to the large-scale application of genotypic selection and plant production for the restoration of critical natural habitats—particularly in the areas of coastal/beach dune restoration and wetland restoration and creation.  Researchers from throughout the world have adopted his theories and approaches to the use of plant micropropagation and the study of in vitro ecology to habitat restoration and creation, demonstrating a vast improvement in the management of natural areas worldwide.  His research accomplishments are exemplified by 70 peer reviewed publications and 16 published book chapters.

Mike the Pilot

In addition to major research contributions in the fields of plant tissue culture and habitat restoration, Dr. Michael Kane has demonstrated a long history of excellence in teaching in the plant sciences and mentoring graduate students.  He has been both a researcher and teacher at the University of Florida for the past 23 years.  In that time, he has taught upper-division undergraduate and graduate courses in Micropropagation of Horticultural Crops, Plant Propagation, and Graduate Student Professional Development.  He has also contributed to general education courses through his teaching and supervision of the survey course Plants, Gardens, and You.  Throughout his two decades of teaching excellence, he has consistently received exemplary teaching evaluations by his peers and students in all the courses he has led.  He has also published a number of papers and contributed book chapters outlining plant micropropagation laboratory exercises for use in the classroom setting.  In addition to his University teaching duties, D. Kane has led over 20 workshops on the use of plant micropropagation in the classroom and extension settings.  Many of his workshops have been given in conjunction with or as part of activities with the Society for In Vitro Biology annual meetings.  In particular, he has a long history of educating high school teachers on the value and flexibility of plant micropropagation in their classrooms through his long-running “Plant Tissue Culture in the Classroom” workshop series.  In addition to his formal teaching in the classroom he has served as a research mentor for 13 Masters of Science students, 5 Doctor of Philosophy students, 2 Doctor of Plant Medicine students, and has served on the committee of more than 40 graduate students.  Dr. Kane’s excellence in teaching has been recognized by the multiple honors and awards he has received over the years.

Michael Kane with wife Roseann and daughter Laura

Dr. Michael Kane has also made significant contributions through his service activities.  His service to the Society for In Vitro Biology includes memberships on the Education, Program Planning, and Student Affairs & Awards Committees.  He served as a Reviewing Editor (1996-2006) and as an Associate Editor (2006 – present) for the Society journal In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology-Plant.  Dr. Kane has also been instrumental in organizing and chairing symposia on micropropagation and educational symposia and workshops at the annual Society for In Vitro Biology Meetings.  His service activities extend beyond the Society for In Vitro Biology as he has served as a Reviewing Editor and as Associate Editor for Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture.  He is also currently an active member in six Professional Societies.

Through his research, teaching, mentoring and service activities, Dr. Michael Kane has had a lasting impact on many individuals, and is a deserving recipient of the Society for In Vitro Biology Fellow Award.

Information provided by Scott Stewart

Daniel C.W. Brown

Daniel C.W. Brown

Dr. Daniel Charles William Brown received the Society for In Vitro Biology Fellow Award at the 2009 annual meeting in Charleston, SC.  Dr. Brown received a B.Sc. and M.Sc. degree from the University of Waterloo (Ontario, Canada).  He earned his Ph.D. degree in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Calgary (Alberta, Canada). He currently is a Research Scientist at the Southern Crop Protection and Food Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (London Ontario, Canada), and Associate Director of the Ontario Ginseng Innovation & Research Centre at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Western Ontario (London Ontario, Canada).  Through his research, service, mentoring, and teaching activities Dr. Brown has made significant contributions to in vitro biology.

Daniel Brown has made major contributions to in vitro biology research throughout his career.  He was one of the pioneer researchers in alfalfa in vitro biology, and he and his collaborators developed an efficient alfalfa somatic embryogenesis system and conducted genetic analysis of various alfalfa genotypes in regard to somatic embryogenesis. He developed several alfalfa genetic clones and lines, which showed high levels of somatic embryogenesis. These lines, such A70.34, were later distributed to many laboratories around the world which promoted the global alfalfa research effort. He also developed a system for continuous somatic embryogenesis in alfalfa, which later became a model for legume and other plants for somatic embryogenesis research.

Dr. Brown was also one of the researchers who developed plant artificial seed technology. Somatic embryos, after certain treatments (such as ABA), can acquire desiccation tolerance and can be stored for long periods of time as true seeds. After dehydration, the dried somatic embryos (artificial seeds) can germinate and develop into full plants. Artificial seeds are an important technology in in vitro biology and the technology can be used for plant germplasm preservation and for plant propagation. The artificial seed concept and technology has been applied to many other crop species for various studies and applications.

Dr. Brown was also one of the key researchers who discovered tCUP constitutive cryptic gene regulatory elements. Cryptic gene regulatory elements are important DNA sequences presumably widely distributed in plant genomes. This type of DNA sequence, once found and cloned, can be used for gene expression regulation. Discovery of constitutive cryptic elements of gene expression revealed an important aspect of gene expression and also led to development of new technologies for plant gene expression control.  He participated in the development of a new technology of gene expression repression via plant histone deacetylases (HDACs). This was an important scientific discovery since repression of gene expression is important for genomics research and for control and regulation of gene expression. Several papers reporting the discovery were published in primary international journals, such as The Plant Journal. The discovery was also reported in Information System for Biotechnology (ISB) News Report as the first research article in the issue (ISB March, 2005).

Dr. Brown has led several National Scientific Research Programs.  He served as the Acting Research Manager for three years at Southern Crop Protection and Food Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. The Centre has three locations, London, Delhi, Vineland Station, which include about 30 laboratories and about 300 researchers and supporting staff members.  He also served as acting Science Director of two research centres (London and Harrow) of Agriculture and Agro-Food Canada, and these two centres include about 50 laboratories and 500 staff members.  He is also Associate Director of the Ontario Ginseng Innovation & Research Centre. This program studies various aspects of ginseng biology for maximum application of ginseng. The research includes development of methods of large scale plant propagation via in vitro biology, new genetic clone and variety development, genetic transformation, functional genomics, biochemistry, medical analysis and commercial application. The research program involves multiple organizations, including government laboratories, university laboratories, industries and hospitals.  Dr. Brown is also lead scientist of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s national Plum Pox Virus (PPV) research program.  Plum pox virus is a viral disease, which is considered to be one of the most economically-devastating diseases of Prunus fruit crops.  The PPV Research Program includes different Government and University laboratories as well as international researchers, all working to develop PPV resistance Prunus germplasms via a plant biotechnology approach.

Dr. Brown joined the Society for In Vitro Biology about 30 years ago when he was a graduate student and when the Society was named the Tissue Culture Society. His professional development has been closely associated with the Society and he has made significant contributions to the Society over the years.  He has played a pivotal role in helping to organize the SIVB annual meetings by serving on the Plant Program Committee (1985 – 88, 1991, 1995-96), serving as Chairman (1988-1991) of the Plant Program Committee, and serving as a member (1992) and co-chairman (1990) of the Program Committee.    He also served as a member of the Long Range Planning Committee for the Society for In Vitro Biology (1990-94, 2003).  Dr. Brown has also been very active with the Society by serving both as Associate Editor (1990-96) and as a member of the Editorial Board (2000-01) of In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology – Plant.  He also served as an elected Member of both the Tissue Culture Association Council and as a Member-at-Large on the Society for In Vitro Biology Board of Directors.  Dan has also been involved in many other service activities, which are related to in vitro biology research. He was the associate editor of Plant Cell, Tissue, and Organ Culture, one of the major international journals reporting in vitro biology research. He later served as the Editor-in-Chief of this journal for six years. He was elected as the Canadian National Correspondent of the International Association of Plant Tissue Culture and Biotechnology (IAPTC&B, now IAPB) for four years, and he also served as the acting Treasure Secretariat of IAPTC&B.

Dr. Brown has also made significant contributions to in vitro biology through his mentoring and teaching activities.  He has supervised and trained numerous researchers, including junior scientists, junior visiting and sabbatical professors, postdoctoral research fellows, graduate students (Ph. D. and M.Sc.), co-up students, and summer students who conducted various studies and projects in the area of in vitro biology, and many of these researchers are now working in in vitro biology or related areas of science.  As an Adjunct or Associate Professor at several Canadian Universities (University of Western Ontario, University of Guelph, Carlton University) he has taught courses in the area of in vitro biology and has served on numerous graduate student advisory and defense committees.

Dr. Brown’s numerous contributions to in vitro research are documented by his authorship on 17 book chapters and 70 peer-reviewed publications.  He also is an editor of the book Biotechnology and the Improvement of Forage Legumes.  He also has 18 patents, numerous Honors and Awards, and has received significant research funding throughout his career.

Information Provided by Lining Tian, Jayasankar Subramanian, and Mark Jordan

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