The APS Virology Committee

The Virology Student Travel Award was established in 1999 to support the participation of exceptional student(s) in the area of plant virology to the APS Annual Meeting. Since the science of virology was founded in 1898 with seminal studies on tobacco mosaic virus, viruses have played a central role in understanding how all pathogens cause disease and as tools to study the biology of the plant cell. The spread of significant virus diseases on crop and ornamental plants worldwide continues in association with global trade and travel. Therefore, a more complete basic and applied understanding of viruses and their interactions with host plants and biological vectors is needed to provide new strategies to control important virus diseases throughout the world. This travel award was established to facilitate student travel to the APS national meeting so that students in plant virology would have the opportunity to present the findings from their studies and interact with virologists from around the world.

The first recipient of this award was Mr. Jeffrey Batten at Texas A&M University who presented a paper at the 2000 meeting of APS in New Orleans entitled: "Alanine scanning mutagenesis of p48, A replicase-associated protein of panicum mosaic virus." J.S. BATTEN, M. Turina and K.-B. Scholthof.

The award at the 2001 annual meeting went to P.M. Sforza of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University for research (and associated presentation) on a geographic information system tool to improve integrated management of barley yellow dwarf in Virginia wheat

Anna Whitfield, a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin, won the award in 2002. The title of her presentation was, "Baculovirus expression of soluble TSWV glycoproteins."

Anne Halgren of Oregon State University and Heather Melidossian of Cornell University shared the award in 2003. Anne presented her work on an aphid-transmitted virus associated with black raspberry decline. Heather made two presentations on the use of mites as biocontrol agents.

Amy Ziems, from the University of Nebraska was the 2004 Virology Student Travel Award winner. She participated in a presentation entitled "Effect of soybean planting date on incidence of Bean pod mottle virus"

From the University of Arkansas, James Susaimuthu was the 2005 Virology Student Travel Award winner and presented evidence for mixed infections causing severe symptoms and decline of blackberry. The string of winners with first names beginning with "A" has been broken!

Charles Hagan of the University of California, Davis won one award in 2006 for his development of a geminivirus based gene silencing system. He sent Dr. John Sherwood a letter of thanks. The other awardee was Sushma Jossey of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Thanuja Thekke Veetil from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was the 2007 awardee for work on the sequence diversity of Soybean dwarf virus. Dr. John Sherwood received a letter of thanks. Tom Tabi Oben of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, also received an award and sent thanks in advance of his anticipated attendance. Unfortunately, a US Visa did not arrive in time for him to make the meeting. Having first and second names beginning with T was lucky this year (at least somewhat)!

In 2008, the recipient was Emmanuel Byamukama from Iowa State University. He presented his work, done with Forrest Nutter, on the spread of plant diseases. Dr. John Sherwood received a letter of thanks.

Mr. Veetil (2007 awardee) was also the recipient of the 2009 award. He thanked the Committee again.

For 2010 the student travel award was given to Bindu Poudel of the University of Arkansas.

Alma G. Laney, University of Arkansas received the 2011 Virology travel award.

Ana C. Fulladosa of the University of Wisconsin received the award in 2012. Her presentation reported on the optimization of a dot blot assay for potato viruses that used chemiluminescent immunological detection.

If you would like to contribute to this APS Foundation Travel Award please visit with the APS Foundation or contact John L. Sherwood (


© Copyright 2012 by The American Phytopathological Society