The Tay Hayashi Lectureship in Cell Physiology: “Designing biological systems”

Date(s) - 07/17/2012
9:00 am - 10:00 am
Lillie Auditorium

The Tay Hayashi Lectureship in Cell Physiology
“Designing biological systems”
Pam Silver, Harvard Medical School
July 17, 2012, Lillie Auditorium, 9:00 AM


Pam SilverDr. Pamela A. Silver is the Elliott T. and Onie H. Adams Professor of Biochemistry and Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School.  She received a B.S. in chemistry from the University of California, Santa Cruz and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles.  Dr. Silver is a member of many scientific societies, including the American Chemical Society, Genetics Society of America, and the American Society of Cell Biology.

Dr. Silver’s lab uses a synthetic biology approach to understanding biological systems through design, making new biological structures with proteins and nucleic acids, new genetic networks, and new metabolic pathways with applications in basic science, medicine, and the environment. The Silver Lab’s designs derive from what they learn from systems biological analyses. Current projects use mammalian cells, plants, simple eukaryotes and prokaryotes. Understanding how to program cells in a rational way will have value, for example, in stem cell design, drug therapy, and the environment.



The Tay Hayashi Lectureship in Cell Physiology was established to pay tribute to a scientist who holds a special place in the hearts and minds of his friends, colleagues, and students. Teru Hayashi, known by all with affection as “Tay,” needs little introduction at the MBL. As research mentor, professor, and chairman at Columbia University and the Illinois Institute of Technology, Tay had a profound influence on his field and on budding researchers for more than 50 years. His work on actin remains fundamental to current research, and includes the first quantitative demonstration of the contribution of actin to myosin-based tension development in vitro, and the discovery of “barbed end” actin assembly.

Tay first conducted summer research at the MBL as a graduate student in 1938. He later joined the world-renowned MBL muscle motility group, ultimately playing a vital role in the Laboratory’s institutional growth and development. Moreover, as noted by a dear friend, “his tremendous contributions to tennis, poker, naughty songs, and fishing are legendary.” In short, Tay was the embodiment of the spirit of the Woods Hole community, and of the scientific achievement and intellectual freedom synonymous with the MBL. Today we celebrate and remember that lifelong achievement, precious freedom, and indomitable spirit with the Tay Hayashi Lecture in Cell Physiology.

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