Einstein Professorship awarded to James Birchler by Chinese Academy of Sciences

Dr. Weicai Yang recognizes Dr. James Birchler with a prestigious Einstein Professorship in a ceremony held on March 18 at the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing.
Melody Kroll
News Source: 
College of Arts & Science
Biological Sciences

Columbia, MO—The Chinese Academy of Sciences has named James Birchler, Curators’ Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Missouri, a recipient of an Einstein Professorship.

The highest scientific award of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Einstein Professorships are awarded each year to 20 distinguished international scientists who are actively working at the frontiers of science and technology for the purpose of lecturing and interacting with faculty and students in China.

Birchler is recognized for his studies in maize and Drosophila genetics. Together with Reiner Veitia, he formulated the gene balance hypothesis, which synthesizes how regulatory mechanisms affect quantitative traits, dosage compensation, and certain evolutionary processes involving gene copy numbers. His laboratory also is recognized for developing the first artificial chromosomes in plants as well as a method for visualizing chromosomes in plants.

He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Birchler was honored by the Chinese Academy of Sciences during ceremonies March 18-21 in China, where he gave a series of lectures in Beijing and Chengdu. In exchange, he will also receive and host a Chinese scholar for several months at MU.

The goals of the Einstein Professorship program are to strengthen science and technology links; to foster cooperation and exchange between Chinese Academy of Sciences scientists and the respective Einstein Professors and their laboratories; and to enhance the training of future generations of scientists in China.

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