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Sauer garners award for lifetime of photosynthesis research

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Ken Sauer
Professor Emeritus Ken Sauer.

September 15, 2010

Ken Sauer, emeritus chemistry professor, has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the International Society of Photosynthesis Research.

This award is presented once every three years to recognize exceptional career-long contributions to understanding the process of photosynthesis. Initiated in 2003, the award confers life membership in the society and recognizes meritorious work in photosynthesis research by an individual who is at least 60 years old.

Sauer was born in Cleveland, OH, in 1931. After receiving his A.B. degree in chemistry at Oberlin College in 1953, he earned his Ph.D. in 1957 with George Kistiakowsky at Harvard.

Sauer then spent three years as an assistant professor at the American University of Beirut. In 1960 he came to Berkeley for a postdoc with Melvin Calvin, where he was introduced to photosynthesis research. He joined the chemistry faculty in 1963. Sauer is also a Faculty Senior Scientist in the Physical Biosciences Division of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Ken Sauer's LBNL colleagues Vittal Yachandra and Junko Yano said, "Ken's influence on a whole generation of photosynthesis research has been nothing short of spectacular and profound. In spite of this, what we see in him everyday is a very modest and humble person, which is a testament to his basic decency and unassuming character."

Added Yachandra, "I've known Ken for almost 30 years and I have come to know and admire him as a person and as a scientist. He has a remarkable work ethic and enthusiasm for science and life in general. It has been my privilege to have him as a mentor, and it is a distinct honor to call him a colleague and a friend."

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