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United States Rice Genome Consortia Awarded USDA Secretary’s Honor Award

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Researchers Recognized For Involvement

The United States Rice Genome Consortia, Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (Tucson, AZ) – of which Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is a principal member – presented the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Secretary’s Award by Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman at the 58th Annual Secretary's Honor Awards Ceremony on Friday, June 25, 2004.

Considered the highest award the USDA can bestow, the members of the United States Rice Genome Consortia were honored in the “Enhancing Economic Opportunities for Agricultural Producers” category for leading the United States partnership in the multinational achievement to decode the rice genome to advance knowledge, improve nutrition and alleviate world hunger.

W. Richard McCombie, Melissa Kramer, Lance Palmer, Robert Martienssen, Maureen Bell, Sujit Dike, Lidia Nascimento, Andrew O'Shaughnessy, and Lori Spiegel are among the members of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory staff involved in this project.

“We are delighted to be receiving this important award. It underscores the importance of this long term project to build a genomics infrastructure to support plant science and agricultural research,” said Dr. McCombie, a Professor at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, located in Cold Spring Harbor, NY.

Rod A. Wing, Group Leader, will accept the award on the behalf of the Consortium. Other institutions involved in the project include: the National Science Foundation; the Department of Energy; Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; the Institute for Genomic Research; Washington State University School of Medicine; University of Wisconsin; University of Arizona; Clemson University; and North Carolina State University.

The Honor Awards are the most prestigious awards given by USDA. This year’s 102 award winners represent outstanding service in many fields, including stewardship of natural resources, scientific research, disease control, environmental innovations, educational outreach, emergency response to disasters, food safety, farm and food program delivery, trade and export development and rural economic development. For more information, visit

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is a private, non-profit basic research institution. Under the leadership of Dr. Bruce Stillman, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society (London), more than 330 scientists at the Laboratory conduct groundbreaking research in cancer, neurobiology, plant genetics, genomics and bioinformatics. For more information, visit
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