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John Kiss, graduate students honored by national organization


John Kiss
John Kiss, professor and chair of botany at Miami University, received the Orr E. Reynolds Distinguished Service Award at the annual meeting of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology (ASGSB) held Nov. 4-7 in Washington, D.C.

Kiss was honored in recognition for distinguished service to the Society “above and beyond the call of duty.”
He has served as a member of the Board of Governors, as president and as a program chair for the ASGSB and is currently a member of the editorial board of the society’s journal Gravitational and Space Biology. He was cited for his efforts in education, outreach, and support of undergraduates and graduate students in independent research.

Two botany graduate students — both advised by Kiss — tied for third place for their presentations in the Graduate Student Poster Competition.

Jane Hopkins (Miami ’09) won the third place award for her poster presentation “Root phototropism in a transgenic line of Arabidopsis altered in the phytochrome pathway.”

Christina Johnson won the third place award for her poster presentation “The effects of microgravity on the actin cytoskeleton of Arabidopsis thaliana.”

Kiss researches the effects of gravity on plant growth. His recent experiment, Tropi-2, involved two six-day experiments on the International Space Station (ISS), to understand how light and gravity affect plant growth. The experiment traveled to the ISS on the space shuttle Endeavor in February and returned on the Discovery in April.
He has been awarded more than $1 million by NASA for Tropi.

In the past four years, Kiss’s research has involved eight undergraduate students, two graduate students and two post-doctoral scholars at Miami.

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Jane Hopkins, botany graduate student
Christina Johnson, botany graduate student


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