Date(s) - 07/22/2014
9:00 am - 10:00 am
The Jean and Katsuma Dan Endowed Lecture
“From Boveri to Oparin: Organization of Compartments in Cytoplasm”
Anthony Hyman, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics
July 22, Lillie Auditorium, 9:00 AM
About the Jean and Katsuma Dan Endowed Lecture
Jean Clark and Katsuma Dan met when they were graduate students of the American physiologist, L.V. Heilbrunn. They studied with him at the University of Pennsylvania and spent their summers at the MBL. Katsuma Dan received his Ph.D. in 1934; Jean Clark received hers in 1936 after which they married and settled in Nagai, a five-mile bike ride to their laboratory in Misaki. They came from vastly different backgrounds: He was the son of a wealthy Japanese baron and she was from Presbyterian Yankee stock, but they shared a love for science, Woods Hole, and the MBL.
Katsuma Dan was one of Japan’s most influential and original biologists, a skillful administrator, and a scientific statesman. He was credited with original studies of marine organisms, their cell division, fertilization, early development, cell differentiation, and lunar-influenced spawning cycles. Katsuma Dan died in 1996 in Osaka, Japan, at the age of 91.
Jean Dan was the progenitor of an international effort to understand the interaction between the sperm and the egg; she discovered the acrosomal reaction that unites sperm to egg cell membrane. Her superb translations of Japanese biological works into English have been instrumental in the export of Japanese discovery to the West. Jean died in 1978, and her ashes were brought back from Japan and scattered on the water near Nobska Point.