Associated Professor, DSc Barbara Ann Halkier, Department of Plant Biology and Biotechnology at the Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, has been granted the Danisco Award 2008. She received the prestigious award for her excellent research into secondary metabolites, which are biologically active substances in, for instance, plants. In particular, her research has focused on biosynthetic pathways, regulation and transport of glucosinolates in cruciferous plants.
The purpose of the Award instituted by the Danisco Foundation is to help improve food products, notably industrially produced foods. Institutions and individuals in Denmark and abroad are eligible for the Award as a reward for outstanding efforts to improve foods or as a means of financing food improvement projects. The Danisco Award was first granted in 2002. It represents a value of DKK 250,000 and is one of the biggest Danish prizes within biotechnology.
Barbara Ann Halkier and her research group have identified and characterized a number of genes involved in the biosynthetic pathway of glucosinolates. In recent years, they have had increased their focus on regulation and transport of these compounds in plants and the possibilities of transferring the pathways to organisms in which production of glucosinolates does not occur in the wild type. Although several genes are involved in the biosynthesis of glucosinolates, Barbara Ann Halkier and her research group have recently succeeded in producing glucosinolates in non-cruciferous plants.
Barbara Ann Halkier is internationally recognized for her basic research but she also has an eye for practical applications, including both improvements of human health and the environment. Epidemiologic studies reveal a correlation between eating cruciferous vegetables and reduced risk of a number of cancer diseases. In cruciferous plants, the glucosinolates are involved in defense reactions to herbivores and harmful microorganisms.
Barbara Ann Halkier was born in 1956, has taken a biology degree from the Faculty of Science at the University of Copenhagen and has been an Associate Professor at the Department of Plant Biology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Life Sciences since 1992. She obtained her doctorate in 1996 from the Department of Molecular Biology. Under the Faculty of Science at the University of Copenhagen. She has published more than 60 peer-reviewed articles, seven reviews, more than 1,500 quotations, H-Index: 27.
|Contact: Barbara Ann Halkier|
University of Copenhagen