SCHOOL OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES

Trailblazers Lecture Series in Molecular Biochemistry and Biophysics

 

This speaker series was organized starting in 1995 to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the creation of the School of Biological Sciences.

2009

Christine Guthrie

Dr. Christine Guthrie was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1993. She is a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics and the American Cancer Society Research Professor of Molecular Genetics at the University of California-San Francisco. Dr. Guthrie’s studies on the biology, conformation and processing of bacteriophage tRNAs led to understanding the components and function of the spliceosome. Dr. Guthrie received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in Genetics. In 1997 Dr. Guthrie received the Genetics Society of America Medal and in 2006 the Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the RNA Society.

2007

Joachim Frank

Dr. Joachim Frank is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator a Distinguished Scientist in Structural Biology and Chief of the Laboratory of Computational Biology and Macromolecular Imaging at the Wadsworth Center of the New York State Department of Health. Dr. Frank earned his Ph.D from Technische Universität München. Dr. Frank is noted for pioneering methods of 3-dimensional visualization and structural analysis of macromolecular assemblies using cryo-electron microscopy. Dr. Frank was elected to the American Academy of Sciences in 2006.

2005

Richard Losick

Dr. Richard Losick is the Maria Moors Cabot professor of Biology, a Harvard College Professor and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. He earned his Ph.D from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Over the course of four decades Losick’s laboratory has led the field of development and morphogenesis in bacteria. Dr. Losick was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1992. Dr. Losick is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and a former visiting scholar of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.

2004

Carlos J. Bustamante

Dr. Carlos Bustamante was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2002. He is also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. Dr. Bustamante is a Professor in the Department of Physics and Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California – Berkeley where he also earned his Ph.D. Dr. Bustamante applies mechanical force to induce and follow the unfolding and refolding of single RNA molecules. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Burroughs-Wellcome Fund. He was awarded the Hans Neurath Prize from the Protein Society, the Alexander Hollaendar Award in Biophysics from the National Academy of Sciences, and the Biological Physics Prize from the American Physical Society.

2001

Linda L. Randall

Dr. Randall recently joined the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Missouri-Columbia as the first incumbent of the Wurdack Chair in Biochemical Sciences. She earned her Ph.D. degree in molecular biology at the University of Wisconsin and was on the faculty at Washington State University since 1980. She is the recipient of the Parke-Davis and the Eli Lilly awards and was elected in 1997 to the National Academy of Sciences for her major contributions to the understanding of protein export and molecular chaperones.

Michael G. Rossmann

Dr. Rossmann is the Hanley Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences at Purdue University. He was educated at the University of London and began his career as a crystallographer at the University of Glasgow, earning his Ph.D. in 1956 in Chemical Crystallography. In 1964 he came to Purdue to begin his pioneering work on X-ray crystallography of viruses. Among his many prizes and awards are the Ewald Prize, the Elizabeth R. Cole Award, the McCoy Award, and election to the National Academy of Sciences in 1984. In 1996 he became a Fellow of the Royal Society.

2000

Sidney Altman

Dr. Altman is Professor of Chemistry & Sterling Professor of Biology in the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at Yale University. He received his Ph.D. degree in biophysics at the University of Colorado Medical Center and after postdoctoral research with Francis Crick and Sydney Brenner he joined the Yale faculty in 1971. He served as chairman of the Biology Department and also as Dean of Yale College. In 1989 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery that RNA is not only a molecule of heredity but also can function as an enzyme. He is also an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Elizabeth Craig

Dr. Craig is Steenbock Professor of Microbiological Sciences and Chair of the Department of Biomolecular Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She pioneered the investigation of heat shock proteins (hsps) and molecular chaperones and in recognition for this work was elected in 1998 to the National Academy of Sciences.

1999

Peter C. Doherty

Dr. Doherty is Chairman of the Department of Immunology at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN. A native of Brisbane, Australia he studied veterinary medicine at the University of Queensland and received his Ph.D. degree at the University of Edinburgh. He returned to the John Curtin School of Medical research in Canberra in 1971 to begin his seminal studies on viral pathogenesis and immunity. In 1996 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly with Rolf M Zinkernagel for their discoveries concerning "the specificity of the cell mediated immune defence". He is a winner of the 1995 Albert Lasker Medical Research Award, a Fellow of the Royal Society and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

1998

George H. Lorimer

Dr. Lorimer is Distinguished University Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Maryland-College Park since 1998. He earned his Ph.D. degree at Michigan State University in 1972 and did postdoctoral work at the Max Planck Institute in Berlin, Germany. After holding scientific posts in Australia and Germany he became a Principal Investigator and Research Leader in the Central R & D Department at the DuPont Company in 1978 where he pioneered the study of the structure, assembly, activation, and reaction mechanism of Rubisco, the key enzyme in photosynthetic carbon fixation, and the role of chaperonin-assisted protein folding. He won the 1997 Alexander von Humbold Research Prize and is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

1997

Peter H. von Hippel

Dr. von Hippel is Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Oregon's Institute of Molecular Biology in Eugene. He received his Ph.D. degree from M.I.T. and was a postdoctoral fellow Naval Medical Research Institute. He was a John S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow and was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences for his elegant use of using physical biochemical approaches to study what might be called the molecular basis of gene expression.

H. Ghobind Khorana

Dr. Khorana is the Alfred P Sloan Professor of Biology & Chemistry Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA. He received his Ph.D. degree at the University of Liverpool and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Swiss federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. His pioneering studies on the interpretation of the genetic code and its function in protein synthesis were recognized with the 1968 Nobel Prize for Physiology & Medicine. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences since 1966 and on the MIT faculty since 1970.

1995

Hartmut Michel

Dr. Michel is Director at the Max-Planck-Institute of Biophysics and Professor at the J. W. Goethe University in Frankfurt/Main, Germany. He received his Ph.D. degree at the University of W�rzburg and was awarded the 1988 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his pioneering studies on the crystallization of membrane proteins and the determination of the three-dimensional structure of a photosynthetic reaction centre. He is also a winner of the Leibnitz Prize and was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

Wayne A. Hendrickson

Dr. Hendrickson is Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics at Columbia University in New York City. He did postdoctoral research at the Johns Hopkins University and the Naval Research Laboratory. He is well known for his crystallographic techniques for structure determination of biological macromolecules, specifically for the application of multiple wavelength anomalous dispersion. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Edwin G. Krebs

Dr. Krebs is Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He was elected into the National Academy of Sciences in 1973 for his fundamental studies of the regulation of glycogen metabolism which led to a general understanding of the central role of phosphorylation mechanisms in the control of cellular events. He also received the 1992 Nobel Prize for Physiology & Medicine and was a Howard Hughes Investigator at Washington University.

Ricardo Miledi

Dr. Miledi is UCI Distinguished Professor of Neurobiology & Behavior. He received his M.D. degree from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico in Mexico City and is well known for his seminal studies of neurotransmitters and their receptors. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.