UNT researcher earns Phytochemical Society of North America lifetime career award

Wednesday, August 12, 2015 - 16:40

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- University of North Texas Distinguished Research Professor Richard Dixon has earned the Phytochemical Society of North America's Phytochemical Pioneer Award.

The award recognizes significant contributions to phytochemical research over a scientist's career. Dixon accepted the award Aug. 11 at the organization's annual meeting at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

"The Phytochemical Society of North America and its members have been great colleagues during my 40 years of working in this field," Dixon said. "I am honored to join the list of distinguished phytochemists who have received this award."

Dixon's range of work includes numerous projects in the area of plant secondary metabolism, from basic studies on enzymes and metabolic pathways to more applied research including inventing a new, stronger plant-based carbon fiber, researching the impact of grape seed extract on Alzheimer's disease, and developing more digestible and cattle-friendly alfalfa and improved bioenergy crops. Dixon's work has garnered more than $2.4 million in federal funding this year.

Dixon has published more than 450 papers and chapters on topics including biochemistry, molecular biology and metabolic engineering of plants. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a member of the editorial boards of five international journals, and has been named by the Institute of Scientific Information and Thomson Reuters as one of the most cited authors in plant science.

Dixon currently serves on a National Research Council committee examining the history, safety, benefits and drawbacks of genetically modified crops around the world, and on Oct. 1 will become president of the American Society of Plant Biologists.

As president, Dixon will assist the organization with its goals of advancing plant science research, growing research funding and developing partnerships for research projects.

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