Dr. Margaret Young receives Distinguished Service Award
Kesha Williams July 03, 2012
Dr. Margaret Young, an associate professor in the Biology Department at Elizabeth
City State University recently received the Distinguished Service Award from the Society
for In Vitro Biology (SIVB). This award recognizes those, specially selected by the
SIVB President, who have demonstrated and given extra effort in support of the SIVB
programs and endeavors.
She received the award while attending the 2012 World Congress on In Vitro Biology
in Bellevue, Washington. The World Congress brings together SIVB as well as the Japanese
Tissue Culture Association and the Japanese Society for Alternatives to Animal Experiments.
Young was delighted to receive an award from the organization that is dedicated to
the study and exchange of information relevant to biotechnology.
"I am honored to have received this award from Bill (William Smith - President of
SIVB). The Education and Student Affairs Committees are re-energized to carry out
the mission of SIVB. This society has served me well throughout the past 15 years
as it brings together my peers to discuss and advance the latest scientific discoveries
in my field of plant biotechnology."
"In my area of plant biotechnology, we are looking at ways of increasing crop production.
Conventional (classical) breeding takes years to produce more efficient crops. Therefore,
we need to harness all the technologies that are available."
"We need to feed the estimated two more billion people expected by 2050 (from 7 billion
now to 9 billion by 2050). In addition, based on climate change models, the world
will be hotter and drier. Therefore, there will be less land that can be cultivated:
-two problems are before us--drier and hotter conditions; and more people needing
Warmer temperatures, Young explained, could lead to a situation where current crops
will not yield enough food to feed a larger population.
"For example, there are a group of plants that can withstand higher temperatures (C4
plants), therefore, we need to understand how they evolved and try to engineer their
type of photosynthesis in the major crop plants," Young said. "These are the challenges
that today's researchers and professors must prepare students to meet. After attending
SIVB conferences, we are well prepared to discuss those issues with students and urge
them to consider careers that will solve these problems."
Dr. Young has been involved with the organization since 1997. The award recognized
her outstanding contributions in support of the Society in her role as Education Committee
Chair of SIVB. During her term, Dr. Young was instrumental in supporting the educational
goals of the society by organizing a free interactive science workshop geared to high
school and undergraduate educators during the 2011 In Vitro Biology Meeting. For this
workshop, Dr. Young solicited local teachers for their participation, raised grant
funds to support the event and worked with several educational science companies who
donated their kits and provided demonstrations in plant and animal in vitro tissue
culture to the participants. Young said colleagues, Dr. Ronald Blackmon, a senior
research professor, and Mr. Moses McDaniel, a research associate in ECSU Biology Department,
were also instrumental in this workshop.
The SIVB's Education Committee oversees all education-related events throughout the
year and at the annual conference including oral/poster presentations, workshops and
seminars. The Education Committee also works together with the Student Affairs Committee
that plans all undergraduate and graduate students' events.
SIVB was founded in 1946 as the Tissue Culture Association to foster exchange of knowledge
of in vitro biology of cells, tissues and organs from both plant and animals (including
insects and humans). The focus is on biological research, development, and applications
of significance to science and society. SIVB brings together experts in the academia
and industry who are actively involved in improving plants and animals through biotechnology.
The mission is accomplished through the Society's publications; national and local
conferences, meetings and workshops; and through support of teaching initiatives in
cooperation with educational institutions. Over the years, SIVB has expanded to create
an environment of scientific exchange and interdisciplinary synergy with the goal
of advancing current and future systems for in vitro biology.