Christopher Somerville
USA/Canada
2006 Balzan Prize for Plant Molecular Genetics
Biography

Biographical data  

 

CHRISTOPHER ROLAND SOMERVILLE, born in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, on 11 October 1947, is a U.S. citizen.

 

At present, he is Director of the Carnegie Institution, Department of Plant Biology, and Professor of Biological Sciences at Stanford University.

 

He received the Bachelor of Science in Mathematics (1974) and Master of Science in Genetics (1976) as well as his Ph.D. in Genetics (1978) from the University of Alberta, Canada.

 

Somerville’s past positions include Research Associate at the Department of Agronomy at the University of Illinois from 1978 to 1981, Assistant Professor at the Department of Genetics at the University of Alberta, Canada, in 1981, Associate Professor (1982-1986) and Professor (1986-1994) at the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology and MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory at the Michigan State University.

 

In 1991, he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of London and Fellow of Royal Society of Canada in 1993. In 1996 he was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. He has received the following honorary degrees: Doctor of Science at Queens University (1993), at University of Alberta (1997) and at Wageningen University (1998). He was elected member of the Academia Europaea in 2002 and Fellow of the AAAS (The American Association for the Advancement of Science) in 2004.

 

His honors and awards include the Schull Award of the American Society of Plant Physiologists in 1987, and the Gibbs medal in 1993, a Humboldt Senior Research Award in 1992, the Kumho Award in 2001, the Mendel Medal of the Genetical Society in 2004, and the Frederick Gowland Hopkins Medal of the Biochemical Society in 2004.

 

Somerville is a member of several international committees and advisory boards, and is the author of over two hundred publications.

 

 

(November 2006)

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