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Lisa Kissing Kucek wins McClintock Award

Lisa K KucekLisa Kissing Kucek, graduate student in the SIPS Section of Plant Breeding and Genetics, is a recipient of the 2016 Barbara McClintock Award.

As described by her graduate advisor, Mark Sorrells, “Lisa has amazed me with her drive, organization, positive attitude and productivity.  She took over two projects from my former post doc, Julie Dawson.  The first was the USDA Organic Research and Extension Initiative titled “Value added Grains for Local and Regional Food Systems” and the second was the NE SARE project titled “Farm-based selection and seed production of varieties of bread wheat, spelt, emmer and einkorn adapted to organic systems in the Northeast”.  Both are complex, multi-investigator/institution projects that require excellent organization and communication skills.  Lisa has done a truly spectacular job of managing these projects.  “

Some of her specific accomplishments include:

  • Publishing the “Grounded Guide to Gluten“, which provides an overview of human sensitivities to wheat, and summarizes the variation in wheat sensitivity among different genotypes and processing methods of wheat
  • Collaborating with eleven organic farmers to conduct participatory breeding of wheat, einkorn, emmer, and spelt to bolster local food systems in the Northeast
  • Obtaining additional funding to conduct yield and quality evaluation of farmer selected spring wheat lines in the Northeast
  • Organizing and contributing to workshops on farmer selection and organic grains at seven field days in New York, Vermont, and Maine
  • Presenting and publishing four conference proceeding papers on results of organic variety trials, sensory evaluations, and participatory breeding

Lisa is also appreciated for her personality, her upbeat, can-do attitude, and a record of outstanding presentations.

Winners of the award are selected on the basis of their significant contributions to plant science and having “the best potential and greatest background merit.”  The award commemorates the Nobel Prize-winning work of Barbara McClintock.

Read more about Lisa’s “Grounded Guide to Gluten”

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