October 28, 2017 - Prof. Dirk Inzé of the VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology is awarded the ‘2017 GCHERA World Agriculture Prize’ during the 9th GCHERA World Conference at the Nanjing Agricultural University in China. With this award GCHERA (Global Confederation of Higher Education Associations for Agricultural and Life Sciences) recognizes prof. Inzé for his exceptional and significant life time achievements in the field of agricultural and life sciences. The prize of 50,000 USD is generously sponsored by the Education Development Foundation of Nanjing Agricultural University and Da Bei Nong Group.
The World Agriculture Prize is yearly awarded to an academic/faculty member from a higher education institution working in the disciplines relating to the agricultural and life sciences. The World Agriculture Prize aims to encourage the global development of the mission of higher education institutions in education, research and innovation in the agricultural and life sciences by recognizing the distinguished contribution of an individual to this mission.
The pioneering work of Dirk Inzé in the 80s – early 90s on the cell cycle regulation in plants was awarded the prestigious prize of the Körber Foundation (Germany), presented by the German president in 1994. In 2005, Dirk Inzé was awarded the prestigious Francqui Prize for his cell cycle work. He also received the esteemed five-yearly prize of the FWO, the principal research funding agency in Belgium. In 1998 Dirk Inzé co-founded the spin-off company CropDesign, together with the Tech Transfer Offices of VIB and Ghent University. Dirk Inzé was appointed Science Director of the VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology (PSB) in 2002. Under his directorship, PSB transformed to one of the world-leading centers working on various aspects of plant development and responses to abiotic stresses. His own group of some 30 researchers is well supported by various large grants, including the prestigious Advanced ERC Grant of the EU. In recent years, Dirk Inzé made numerous outstanding contributions to the molecular understanding of plant growth. His research opened new perspectives for developing high yielding, climate-resilient crops.