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DeLill Nassir

Nobody nobody at hgmp.mrc.ac.uk
Thu Dec 21 21:03:12 EST 2000

<x-html><!x-stuff-for-pete base=3D"" src=3D"" id=3D"0"><html><div>Today I=20
have lost a friend and so has the field of plant
genetics.&nbsp; I learned this afternoon that DeLill Nassir passed away
this morning.&nbsp; Now, in the same month that we celebrate the
sequencing of the Arabidopsis genome, we must temper our excitement with
the loss of a true friend of plant genetics who recognized the promise of
modern genetics and both nurtured the field and demanded high
standards.&nbsp; </div>
<div>As stated well by Gerry Fink in his essay on the Arabidopsis
revolution (Genetics 149:473-477, 1998):&nbsp; </div>
<div>=ECNotwithstanding these scientific and social factors, this abrupt
turnabout could not have happened without timely financial backing. The
church regrettably no longer supports plant science as it did in Mendel=EDs
time. Fortunately, the National Science Foundation&nbsp; (NSF) stepped up
to promote Arabidopsis. There are many program directors at NSF who
deserve thanks, but it was Dr. DeLill Nassir who first sensed the
zeitgeist and championed Arabidopsis when it was not fashionable to do
so. She used discretionary funds, her wise counsel, and influence within
the federal funding agencies to get the ball rolling supporting meetings,
identifying the movers and the shakers, and making sure that the best
Arabidopsis proposals were supported. We may praise the organism and
prize our geniuses, but the role of federal support in the emergence of
cannot be overemphasized.=EE</div>
As I once stated while I served at NSF, I felt that we had two
institutions operating under one roof.&nbsp; One was DeLill and the other
was NSF.&nbsp; Both have served plant genetics well.&nbsp; I will miss
her good cheer and wise counsel.

<font color=3D"#008000">Dr. Jerry D. Cohen<br>
Professor, Bailey Endowed Chair<br>
Department of Horticultural Science<br>
University of Minnesota<br>
1970 Folwell Ave., 305 Alderman Hall<br>
Saint Paul, MN 55108<br>
</font>Phone <font color=3D"#000080">612.624.9212</font>; FAX
<font color=3D"#800000">612.624.4941<br>
</font>Lab phone <font color=3D"#800080">612.624.1218<br>
</font>Email <font color=3D"#0000FF">cohen047 at tc.umn.edu<br>
Quote of the month:<br>
&quot;Nearly everyone dislikes war.&nbsp; Our dream today is peace.&nbsp;
In peace, man can develop best the enormous possibilities he seems to
have.&nbsp; But maybe future men will find that peace, too, can be good
and bad....&quot; - Richard Feynman </html>


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