​2007 Awardee

Thomas Boller

After an election by the IS-MPMI board,Thomas Boller, University of Basel, was chosen to be the first-ever recipient of the IS-MPMI Award.
Boller, a native of Switzerland, is well known in the MPMI community. He and his group have produced excellent innovative research during the last decade. His group has discovered many microbial factors that are perceived by plants and mount defense responses.
The real breakthrough came from cloning FLS2 and EFR, the receptors for bacterial flagellin and EF-TU, respectively. This work has stimulated many new research lines in several labs around the world. Terms like MAMPs and PAMPs have been introduced. New functions for pathogen effectors were discovered that could link basal defense responses with effector-induced defense responses mediated by resistance proteins.
Boller’s group has produced many outstanding scientific publications in high-impact journals, such as Science, Nature, and Cell. He is a highly cited author. The impact of his work is tremendous, not only in plant sciences but also in mammalian innate immunity. Toll-like receptor kinases link primary innate immunity in plants and animals.
Boller has been a role model for young scientists. Not only for his scientific contributions but also for his services to science in general. He has served on many national and international research committees and scientific and editorial boards. He has been vice rector of the University of Basel and has been elected a member of Deutschen Akademie der Naturforscher.
The award and cash prize were presented during the XIII International Congress in Sorrento. After receiving the award, Boller gave a presentation on his work entitled “PAMPering elicitors; how flags and elfs learned to fly.”