Bert De Rybel receives the 2021 Laureate of the Academy prize for promising researchers

The Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and Arts (KVAB) awarded this year's Laureate of the Academy prize in Natural Sciences to Prof. Bert De Rybel. With this, the KVAB recognizes the high-quality research that Bert and his team are conducting into the way plants construct their vascular tissue.

Annual recognition of promising scientists in Flanders 
Every year the KVAB awards four prizes to young scientists or artists who make a significant contribution to their field. Candidacies can be submitted in the categories Natural Sciences, Humanities, Arts, and Technical Sciences. One of the conditions includes that the candidate must be primarily active in Flanders. The prize is a reward for the hard work of Bert and the team towards the development of vascular tissue in plants.

Adapted vascular tissue for climate-resistant crops
Bert De Rybel's team investigates how cell division is regulated in plants and studies this in more detail in the vascular tissue. The vascular tissue consists of different cell types and its construction depends on tightly regulated cell divisions, both in time and space. A properly made vascular tissue is crucial for its correct functioning which is important for the development and growth in general. The vascular tissue is responsible for, among other things, transporting water and nutrients throughout the plant. Once scientists understand how the vascular tissue is built up, targeted adjustments can, in the long term, lead to better water transport and thus drought-resistant crops.

Bert De Rybel, Group Leader at VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology.