March 31, 2015

The Kensal E. Van Holde Lectureship in Physiology – “Physical Mechanisms of Cell Organization on Micron Length Scales”

Date(s) - 06/29/2013
9:00 am - 10:30 am
Lillie Auditorium


Michael Rosen, Chairman, Dept. of Biophysics, Biochemistry, Green Center for Systems Biology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center


Michael Rosen


Kensal E. van Holde received B.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin. Trained as a physical chemist, his early interests lay in the synthetic polymer field, which led to initial employment in industry.  Dr. van Holde returned to academia in 1957, as an assistant professor at the University of Illinois. There he met J. Woodland Hastings, who asked him to join the faculty of the MBL Physiology course in 1962. Dr. van Holde served as a course faculty member for five years, and later as course director from 1977 to 1981.

Dr. van Holde’s experiences in the Physiology course marked a turning point in his career. The enthusiasm of the staff and students at the MBL fired an excitement for biological research that dominated all of his subsequent work. Indeed, the two major themes of his career—the structure and function of oxygen transport proteins, and the fine structure of chromatin—both had their seeds in work conducted at the MBL.

This fascination with the MBL and a love for Woods Hole has led the van Holde family to return nearly every summer for more than 40 years. During that time Dr. van Holde has served on both the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee of the MBL. He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.