University of Southern Mississippi Assistant Professor Philip Bates is the winner of the 2014 Paul K. Stumpf Award, presented biannually to exceptional scientists in plant lipid research.
Paul K. Stumpf, who died in 2007, is the recognized father of plant lipid (fats and oils) research. A renowned biochemist, Stumpf trained many students who went on to become leaders in the field, while publishing more than 250 research papers over four decades. Among his achievements was the discovery in plants of the alpha-oxidation pathway for degrading fatty acids. Genetic defects in the same pathway in animals are linked to rare hereditary diseases.
The award is presented to scientists who have held doctoral degrees for six years or less. Bates bested a global pool of candidates to earn the prestigious distinction.
A native of Napa, Calif., Bates earned his bachelor of science from the University of California, Davis and his doctorate from Michigan State University. Before joining the faculty at Southern Miss, he conducted post-doctoral research at Washington State University.