January 30, 2015

Andrew Szent-Györgyi Commemorative Symposium

Date(s) - 07/11/2013
2:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Lillie Auditorium

Szent-GyorgyiIn honor of Andrew Szent-Györgyi’s distinguished contributions to biology and his longtime affiliation with the MBL, you are invited to attend the Andrew Szent-Györgyi Commemorative Symposium.

Afternoon Program

Welcoming Remarks Dyche Mullins 2:00 PM
A short history of myosin regulation James Sellers 2:05 PM
Motors and Motion I Ron Vale 2:20 PM
Szent-Györgyi as a mentor Margaret A. Titus 2:50 PM
The Physiology Course I Matthew Meselson 3:15 PM
Collaborating with Andrew Szent-Györgyi —- Ann Houdusse 3:30 PM
Motors and Motion II Mike Sheetz 3:45 PM
The Physiology Course II Woody Hastings 4:15 PM
Motors and Motion III James Spudich 4:40 PM
The Physiology Course III Hugh Huxley 5:10 PM
Final Remarks Andrew Szent-Györgyi —- 5:25 PM

Andrew Szent-Györgyi’s life has followed a remarkable trajectory.  He was born in Hungary, where he studied medicine at the University of Budapest. He moved to the United States in 1948 along with his wife and collaborator, Eva Szentkiralyi, to join his cousin, Albert Szent-Györgyi, and settled at the Marine Biological Laboratory where he became a member of the world-famous Institute for Muscle Research.  He moved to Dartmouth Medical School in 1962 and then four years later to Brandeis University where he is a Professor Emeritus.  Andrew was chair of the Biology Department there from 1975-1979.  Throughout his career, he has worked to understand the structure, function, and regulation of myosin motors and trained several generations of remarkable scientists who continue this work.  Key milestone discoveries were the identification of functional domains of myosin using proteolysis and the discovery of myosin-based regulation of some muscles.

Woods Hole has always been Andrew’s home regardless of where his faculty positions have taken him.  His association with the MBL began almost immediately upon his arrival in America in 1948 and, over the years, he has played a vital role in the institution’s growth and development. He has had a long association with the MBL Physiology course, beginning in 1955, where he has served as an instructor, consultant, and director.  Andrew taught with an impressive collection of instructors throughout his tenure, including James Watson, Francis Crick, Rosalind Franklin, Dan Mazia, Woody Hastings, George Wald, Hugh Huxley, and Annemarie Weber.

It was in this course that Matthew Meselson met Frank Stahl and, together, conceived their eponymous experiment.  In the 1960s Andrew designed the layout for the third floor of the Loeb Laboratory building, the space that has housed the Physiology course ever since. His division of the space into three units, his use of natural lighting, and his open floor plan have made this a remarkably successful space—one that was clearly ahead of its time. For these contributions, Andrew was honored with the title of MBL Life Trustee Emeritus. Andrew has always been an active participant in his science, making preparations and conducting experiments with his own hands often until the wee hours of the morning.  He has served as an inspiration for all his trainees and his many collaborators over the years.

Andrew has published more than 140 research articles and has received numerous awards, including the Public Health Service Research Career Award (1962-1966), a Guggenheim Fellowship (1966), election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1975), and a MERIT Award from the National Institutes of Health (1987-1997).  He served as president of the Society of General Physiologists (1970-197l), president of the Biophysical Society (1974-1975), and is an honorary member of the Hungarian Academy of Science.

Andrew Szent-Györgyi embodies the spirit of the Woods Hole community, and the Andrew Szent-Györgyi Lectureship in Physiology celebrates his lifetime of achievement.  The inaugural lecture will be held in 2014.