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John and Ann Niederhauser Fund

The John and Ann Niederhauser Endowment (JANE) was established by Dr. and Mrs. John Niederhauser in 1990 to promote international cooperation in research/management of plant diseases.

John and Ann

Dr. John S. Niederhauser received the 1990 World Food Prize in recognition of his work with national programs that dramatically increased potato production in many Third World countries. This prize was founded in 1986 by Dr. Norman Borlaug, the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize winner and today is awarded annually by the World Food Prize Foundation in Iowa. It is given to an individual whose work has made a difference toward alleviating world hunger and malnutrition. Dr. and Mrs. Niederhauser donated $100,000 to establish the John and Ann Niederhauser Endowment within the APS Foundation. An annual competition is held for research proposals to support international cooperation in agricultural research with priority given to potato late blight, and funding has been made in amounts ranging up to $10,000. 

In 1999, Dr. John and Ann Niederhauser designated that a portion of the earnings from JANE be used for a cash prize to accompany the International Service Award. The prize will be $2,000 to the award recipient and $1,000 to an international program recommended by the recipient. The International Service Award was established by APS Council in 1998 to recognize outstanding contributions to plant pathology by APS members for a country other than his or her own. Contributions may be through collaborative projects, sabbaticals, short- or long-term assignments with educational or government agencies, or effective coordination of education programs. Nominations for this award are sought annually by APS Council and the guidelines are available online.The recipient of this award is selected by the APS Awards and Honors Committee. The first award was given at the 2000 APS Annual Meeting.

Dr. Niederhauser was born on September 27, 1916, in Seattle, WA. He received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in plant pathology at Cornell University in 1939 and 1943, respectively. Dr. Herbert H. Whetzel served as his major advisor. After holding various positions, including at Cornell and with the USDA, he joined the International Agricultural Programs of the Rockefeller Foundation in Mexico in 1947, where he resided until 1980. He was a cofounder of the International Potato Center (CIP) in 1971 in Lima, Peru, and worked with CIP from 1972 until 1980, while maintaining his residence in Mexico. During his many years as a researcher and teacher, Dr. Niederhauser traveled extensively throughout the world. He also served as a consultant on a number of international organizations. Additionally, he was an adjunct professor of plant pathology at the University of Arizona. He passed away on August 12, 2005.

Dr. Niederhauser attributed much of his success as a scientist to his wife, Ann Faber Niederhauser. When he received the World Food Prize on October 17, 1990, at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, an excerpt from his comments included these about Ann: “...And I wish to call your attention at this time to one very special person who has been a constant source of support and encouragement during my career. Not only has she traveled with me all over the world and shared the satisfaction of cooperating with our colleagues in so many countries, but she has created the home and family that have made my life so wonderful. Those of you who know her are aware of how vital she has been to whatever might have been accomplished.” The Niederhausers have seven children and twelve grandchildren. Following a lengthy illness, Mrs. Niederhauser passed away on March 1, 2000. Donations in her memory have been directed to JANE. Together, John and Ann have devoted their lives, in an effort to provide more food for the world, while preserving the quality of the environment. An excellent review of “International cooperation in potato research and development” was authored by Dr. Niederhauser and appears in the Annual Review of Phytopathology (1993, 31:1-21).