Endowed Lectureships

Gail and Elkan Blout Endowed Guest Lectureship

Elkan Rogers Blout (1919-2006) was born in Manhattan. After graduating from Princeton, he earned a doctorate in chemistry from Columbia in 1942. In the 1950s, Dr. Blout pursued parallel but distinct paths at Harvard and at the Polaroid Corporation, where he was a vice president and general manager of research. At Polaroid, he led the team that worked out the color developing process for the company’s signature instant film, creating new photographic dyes and developing agents and discovering ways to make them in quantity. At the same time, Dr. Blout was embarking on biochemical research at Harvard, studying peptides and polypeptides, which are building blocks in assembling the body’s proteins. In 1962, he left industry to devote his energy to synthesizing peptides in the laboratory and to examining their structures.

A former student of Dr. Blout’s at Harvard said he was “highly respected for the quality and rigorousness of his research,” but he was also known as a warm and supportive lab head. “Everyone really loved working with him, [and] he fostered a very good feeling wherever he went.”

From 1978 to 1989, Dr. Blout was dean for academic affairs at Harvard’s School of Public Health. In the 1990s, he became a senior adviser for science at the Food and Drug Administration, where he reviewed standards, helped plan for the agency’s future staff and laboratory needs, and coordinated research conducted by its scientists. He retired from Harvard in 1991. In 1990, he was awarded a National Medal of Science.

The John J. Cebra Lectureship in Physiology

Professor John J. Cebra (1934-2005) was trained as an immunochemist and protein chemist during the mid-1950s through the 1960s at The Rockefeller University, St. Mary’s Hospital, London, and the Weizmann Institute, Israel. In 1961, he established his own lab in the department of microbiology, University of Florida. During the 1960s he became interested in secretory IgA, and his group established its prevalence as a product of gut plasmablasts and its valid quaternary structure. In the 1970s, he and others developed many novel principles concerning the IgA system and its Ab product.

Until his death he was a professor of biology at the University of Pennsylvania where the Cebra group sought to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms that led to the development of specific humoral and cellular mucosal immune responses, and the influence of commensal bacteria on mucosal immunity.

Professor Cebra directed the MBL Physiology course from 1972 to 1976. He and his wife Ethel traveled abroad extensively to engage students of experimental biology in joint research projects. These visits stimulated continuing collaborative scientific interactions between the Cebra lab and various host laboratories worldwide.

Professor Cebra considered his major accomplishment to be assisting in the training of 32 graduate students and many postdoctoral fellows.

The Jean & Katsuma Dan Lectureship in Embryology/Physiology

Jean Clark (1910-1978) and Katsuma Dan (1904-1996) 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 PhD 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. He 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. She died in 1978, and her ashes were brought back from Japan and scattered on the water near Nobska Point.

Paul Englund Endowed Lectureship in Biology of Parasitism

Paul Theodore Englund (1938-2019) earned a chemistry degree from Hamilton College and though originally interested in medicine, became fascinated by research and pursued a PhD in biochemistry at Rockefeller University. Postdoctoral training with Nobel laureate Arthur Kornberg at Stanford University sparked his career-long research interest in DNA replication. In 1968, he joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins, where he remained for his entire career, ultimately attaining the position of Professor Emeritus of Biological Chemistry at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Dr. Englund had a long association with the MBL starting as a student in the 1959 Invertebrate Zoology course and the 1961 Physiology course. He returned to the MBL in the 1980s and 1990s as a faculty member of the Biology of Parasitism course and served as the course’s Director from 1985 to 1988. He was an emeritus member of the MBL Society.

Dr. Englund was an imaginative yet rigorous investigator. His studies defined the structure and workings of the bizarre and intricate DNA in the mitochondrion of African trypanosomes, organisms that cause lethal sleeping sickness in sub-Saharan Africa. He discovered the unique and unconventional mechanism for fatty acid synthesis in trypanosomes and characterized the anchoring of proteins on the surface of these pathogens, proteins that switch periodically to allow the microbe to evade attack by the host immune system. 

Dr. Englund’s laboratories were full of young colleagues who came from around the world to train with him, who flourished under his thoughtful, nonjudgmental, supportive mentoring style, and who thoroughly enjoyed his frequent and booming laugh. Reflecting the man himself, the Englund lab had a joyful atmosphere and frequent celebrations. Most notable was the annual Thanksgiving dinner, with turkey cooked in the lab conference room oven and sides brought by lab members. The scope, importance, and excellence of his efforts have been acknowledged by many honors over the years, including elected membership in the National Academy of Sciences in 2012. 

The Douglas Eveleigh Endowed Lecture

The Douglas Eveleigh Endowed Lecture recognizes the role played by Rutgers University Professor Emeritus Douglas Eveleigh (1933-2019), who championed the memorialization of Selman Waksman’s laboratory, papers and legacy at Rutgers. The lecturer is a person who inspires the Microbial Diversity students each summer and the award pays homage to Professor Eveleigh’s inspiring model as a teacher and scholar whose passion of and for microbiology is unparalleled.

The Maynard and Suzanne Goldman Lectureship

Suzanne and Maynard Goldman first came to Woods Hole when Maynard was named to the Council of Visitors in 1998. He served in this capacity and on the MBL’s finance committee until 2003. During this time the Goldmans developed a strong affection for the MBL’s professional staff and the exciting work being done here. Maynard and Suzanne have both had a particular interest in ongoing research and developments in the environmental sciences. Maynard worked with a number of non-profits in this area, served as chairman of the Massachusetts Environmental Trust for more than 15 years, and was a member of the advisory board of the National Whale Conservation Fund. The Goldmans live in Boston and Grantham, NH. They are pleased to be able to sponsor this lectureship to help continue the tradition of excellence at the MBL.

The Tay Hayashi Lectureship in Cell Physiology

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 (1914-2003), 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.

The Shinya Inoué Endowed Lecture in Analytical and Quantitative Light Microscopy

For decades, MBL has been recognized for innovations in the development, application, and teaching of microscopy methods in biology. Most of the MBL courses have an imaging component, and some are dedicated entirely to presenting and teaching leading-edge methods in microscopy. One course, Analytical and Quantitative Light Microscopy (AQLM) is an on-going legacy of one of MBL’s scientific treasures, Shinya Inoué (1921-2019).

Shinya first came to the MBL as a summer scientist. He pursued research in the fields of embryology, cell division, the cytoskeleton, and cell motility through development of polarizing light microscopy methods for the study of living cells. In 1980, Shinya started Analytical and Quantitative Light Microscopy (AQLM), an annual comprehensive and intensive course in light microscopy for researchers in biology, medicine, and material sciences. In the course, 100 academic and commercial faculty interact with 32 students to emphasize the quantitative issues that are critical to the proper interpretation of images obtained with modern wide-field and confocal microscopes as well as cutting-edge developments in microscopy and electronic imaging technology.

In celebration of AQLM’s 35th anniversary, the current and former directors of the AQLM course helped create the Shinya Inoué Endowed Lectureship in Analytical and Quantitative Light Microscopy to attract a world-class scientist to engage the students and faculty of AQLM, and the MBL community, in their work in light microscopy. The Inoué lecturer will inspire a new generation of scientists to aim their microscopes at the challenges and curiosities of our world.

The Irvin Isenberg Lectureship

The Irvin Isenberg Memorial Lectureship was established in memory of Dr. Isenberg (1922-1984), whose distinguished career as a biophysicist began at the Marine Biological Laboratory. In 1950, Dr. Isenberg completed his PhD in physics at the University of Pennsylvania and later developed an interest in biophysics while serving as a lecturer at the University of Chicago. In 1957, Dr. Isenberg and his family moved to Woods Hole, where he joined Nobel Laureate Albert Szent-Györgyi in his Institute for Muscle Research. Together they studied charge transfer reactions and free radicals using one of the early electron spin resonance instruments available in the United States.

Dr. Isenberg also conducted research on fluorescence and phosphorescence of DNA before leaving the MBL in 1965 to become Professor of Biophysics and Biochemistry at Oregon State University. There he developed his primary research interest in the structure and function of histones.

The Isenberg family returned to Woods Hole every summer to rejoin beloved friends and to remain active participants in the scientific life of the community. Dr. Isenberg devoted his life to science and is remembered for instilling a strong sense of intellectual curiosity and integrity in the pursuit of scientific truth among his students.

The Richard G. Kessel Lecture in Embryology

Native Iowan Richard G. Kessel (1913-2013) was long fascinated by the ocean, and devoted much of his career to the study of the diversity and development of marine organisms. After receiving his BS in Chemistry from Parsons College in 1953, he entered the University of Iowa as a graduate student in Zoology. While a student there, Dr. Kessel studied the fine structure and physiology of insect pericardial and subesophageal body cells. During his graduate training, an invertebrate zoology course stimulated his curiosity about marine organisms.

Dr. Kessel received his PhD in 1959 and accepted a position in the anatomy department at Wake Forest Medical School. In 1961, he returned to the University of Iowa, where he moved through the ranks to Professor. In 1997, after 36 years of teaching, research, and service, Dr. Kessel retired from the University.

Dr. Kessel spent the summer of 1957 in Woods Hole as a participant in the MBL's Embryology course. He was a graduate student at the time, and the curriculum and seaside setting dovetailed with his flourishing interests in the ocean and marine organisms. He enjoyed the discussions and interactions that occurred in the course and published the results of his course project in the journal Experimental Cell Research.

Dr. Kessel published more than 120 research and review articles and is the author of five books on subjects including histology; scanning electron microscopy; and specialized techniques related to cell, tissue, and organ microscopy.

The Masakazu Konishi Endowed Lectureship in Neural Systems and Behavior

Dr. Masakazu "Mark" Konishi (1933-2020) was the Bing Professor Emeritus of Behavioral Biology at the California Institute of Technology. He worked extensively for three decades on the auditory systems of barn owls, which can use their acute hearing to home in on mice on the ground, even in total darkness. The research has led to an understanding of how the owl's brain manages to "compute" precise locations in two dimensions, and how the neural pathways and circuits are involved. Dr. Konishi's work has implications for better understanding the human brain and perhaps even for future interventions in certain neurological disorders.

Dr. Konishi received a BS and MS from Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan, and a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. Following post-doctoral fellowships at the University of Tubingen and Max-Planck-Institut in Germany, Dr. Konishi was appointed an assistant professor of biology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He subsequently held assistant and associate professor positions at Princeton University. He was a professor at Caltech for over 40 years. Dr. Konishi was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as numerous professional organizations. He received many awards, including The Peter Gruber Prize in Neuroscience.

The Edward Kravitz Endowed Lectureship in Neurobiology

Edward A. Kravitz is the George Packer Berry Professor of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School. He is a graduate of the City College of New York (BS in biology and chemistry) and The University of Michigan (PhD in biological chemistry). His postdoctoral studies were at NIH with Drs. Earl Stadtman and P. Roy Vagelos. He went to Harvard Medical School in 1961, becoming a professor in 1969. Dr Kravitz’s research interests have centered on neurotransmitters and neuromodulators, and now focus on explorations of the role of such substances in aggression using the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, as a model organism. In earlier studies, Dr. Kravitz and his colleagues (Kuffler, Potter, Otsuka, Iversen, and Hall) were the first to demonstrate that GABA was a neurotransmitter, and with Tony Stretton was the first to demonstrate that an intracellular fluorescent dye could be successfully used to determine neuronal geometry. The Kravitz laboratory has published over 100 papers in first rank journals. 

In addition to being a member of many professional societies including the International Society for Neuroethology where he became president in August 2004, Dr. Kravitz is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, is a fellow of the AAAS, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Among his awards and honors, Dr. Kravitz is most proud of his Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring Award from Harvard Medical School, and the Education Award from the Association of Neuroscience Departments and Programs.

Dr. Kravitz has long-standing interests in education. He has served as the director of the MBL’s Neurobiology course, was the co-founder of the Neurobiology of Disease Teaching Workshops at the Society for Neuroscience, and the first director of the graduate program in neuroscience at Harvard University. He is committed to the education of minorities in the sciences and medicine.

The Joe L. Martinez, Jr. and James G. Townsel Endowed Lectureship in SPINES

Joseph “Joe” L. Martinez, Jr., PhD (1944-2020) trained students for over thirty years. In 1994 he received the American Association for the Advancement of Science Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement. The inscription on the award reads, “For having guided the lives of literally thousands of students and hundreds of women and minorities to educational pursuits and careers in science as a teacher, advisor, role model, friend, and confidant.” A recent anonymous reviewer of one of his grants said, “Joe Martinez is one of the top mentors in the nation…Everything that Joe Martinez does is done extremely well and with passion. He is a national treasure.”

For over 20 years Dr. Martinez directed the American Psychological Association Diversity Program in Neuroscience funded by National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to support the training of doctoral and postdoctoral students. He was the co-director (along with James Townsel) of the MBL Summer Program in Neuroscience, Ethics, and Survival (SPINES) course, supported by NIMH and designed to enhance the success of doctoral and postdoctoral students underrepresented in science. 

Dr. Martinez served for 15 years, as a full professor, in one of the nation’s most prestigious institutions, the University of California, Berkeley. And held the Ewing Halsell Distinguished Chair at the University of Texas at San Antonio where he was also the founder and Director of the Cajal Neuroscience Institute. His research was directed towards understanding how the brain stores memories. He investigated learning in animals, using behavioral, electrophysiological, and molecular techniques. Students at all levels (postdoctoral, doctoral, masters and undergraduates) worked in his laboratory to discover more about the brain’s workings. His book, Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, edited with Ray Kesner, is popular with students.

James “Jim” Townsel, PhD (1935-2020) was introduced to the horseshoe crab, Limulis polyphemus, as a potential research subject in 1963, as a graduate student in zoology/physiology at Purdue University, in West Lafayette, Indiana. Since there was not a ready supply of horseshoe crabs in Indiana, he became a regular recipient of shipments of animals from the MBL. His first trip to the MBL occurred in the summer of 1971, when, as a charter member of an NIH funded initiative titled Frontiers in Research and Teaching Program (FRTP), he took the Neurobiology course. In 1972, he returned to the MBL as a FRTP research fellow. After completing a two-year postdoctoral fellowship with Ed Kravitz in the Department of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School in 1973, he accepted a faculty position at Meharry Medical College. In the summer of 1974, he returned to the MBL as the coordinator of the FRTP program. Among the FRTP recruits in that year was Joe Martinez. Funding for the FRTP ended in 1974.

From 1974 until 1986, Dr. Townsel’s career trajectory included a six-year span, 1978-1984, where he served as an associate dean in the College of Medicine at the University of Illinois and the last four years as an associate vice chancellor. In 1984, he returned to Meharry Medical College to chair the Department of Physiology. In 1986, he returned to the MBL where he joined Joe Martinez in launching the forerunner of the SPINES course and returned year after year. His personal commitment to providing educational opportunities to underrepresented minorities is reflected in the fact that he trained eight African American PhDs. His longtime commitment to the SPINES program at the MBL was consistent with his life-long commitment to increasing diversity in the biomedical workforce.

Massey Family Endowed Lectureship

Walter Eugene Massey was born on April 5, 1938, in Hattiesburg, Mississippi to Almar and Essie Massey. His mother was a teacher and his father worked in a chemical plant. Dr. Massey went on to complete the highest levels of education, earning a BS from Morehouse College in 1958 and later his MS and PhD degrees in physics at Washington University in 1966. Growing up in racially segregated Mississippi, Dr. Massey did not begin his career with aspirations to become a college president. His proclivity for science led him to a career as a physicist. His research was in the Theory of Quantum Liquids and Solids. The turning point in his career came when he assumed a faculty position at the University of Illinois, Urbana, in 1968. The offer to join the faculty coincided with the movement to integrate African Americans into higher education.

Dr. Massey went on to become a professor and later dean of the college at Brown University, vice president for research at the University of Chicago, and Provost of the University of California system. He served as director of Argonne National Laboratory from 1979 through 1984. Following his tenure as Argonne’s director, he served as vice-president for research at the University of Chicago with Argonne National Laboratory being under his supervision. Subsequently, Dr. Massey served as the director of the National Science Foundation from 1990 to 1993. On June 1, 1995, Dr. Massey was named the ninth president of Morehouse College, where he served until 2007.

In recognition of his many accomplishments, Dr. Massey has been awarded more than 40 honorary doctorates and numerous awards for excellence in teaching. In addition, he is active in several professional organizations and maintains a commitment to service through his affiliation with a number of civic, cultural, and community organizations. Dr. Massey lives in Chicago and Falmouth with his wife, Shirley Anne Massey. They have two sons, Keith and Eric, and three grandchildren.

Roger D. Milkman Endowed Lecture in Microbial Diversity

The Roger Milkman Endowed Lecture in Microbial Diversity was established to honor Dr. Milkman’s long affiliation with the MBL. Dr. Milkman (1931-2011) first came to MBL in 1952 as a Harvard graduate student in biology taking courses in Embryology and Invertebrate Biology (1953); the next two summers he served as a Course Assistant in Embryology. From 1960 to 1972, Dr. Milkman brought the whole family to Devil’s Lane and the Children’s Science School. He was an instructor in Invertebrate Zoology and continued research in a variety of areas including a polygenetic trait in Drosophila melanogaster and later the clonal molecular evolution of E. coli. Dr. Milkman also studied mussel populations in different areas on the Cape, and from 1988 through 1995 he took part in the Molecular Evolution workshops.

Dr. Milkman had many friends and co-workers during the summers at MBL. He held professorships at Michigan University, Syracuse University, and the University of Iowa. He loved to teach Genetics, Population Genetics, Evolution and Molecular Evolution.

The John G. Nicholls Endowed Lectureship in Neural Systems and Behavior

John G. Nicholls is Professor of Neurobiology and Cognitive Neuroscience at the International School for Advanced Studies in Trieste. He was born in London in 1929 and received a medical degree from Charing Cross Hospital and a PhD in physiology from the Department of Biophysics at University College London, where he did research under the direction of Sir Bernard Katz. He worked at University College London, at Oxford, Harvard, Yale and Stanford Universities and at the Biocenter in Basel, before moving to SISSA, Trieste. With Stephen Kuffler, he made experiments on neuroglial cells and wrote the first edition of From Neuron to Brain. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, a member of the Mexican Academy of Medicine, the recipient of the Venezuelan Order of Andres Bello and of Honorary degrees from the University of Tasmania and the University of Trieste. He has given laboratory and lecture courses in neurobiology at the Marine Biological Laboratory and Cold Spring Harbor, and at universities throughout the world. His work concerns synaptic transmission and regeneration of the nervous system after injury, which he studied first in an invertebrate, the leech, and then in immature mammalian spinal cord. Since 2004, he has started to study neural mechanisms that give rise to the rhythm of respiration.

The Arthur K. Parpart Endowed Lectureship

The Arthur K. Parpart Lectureship was established by Dr. Joseph F. Hoffman in memory of Dr. Parpart’s distinguished career as a devoted teacher and able investigator. Dr. Parpart’s interest in the natural sciences began during his early years as an undergraduate student at Amherst College.  Although his research over the years encompassed a wide range of subjects, his main concern was the physiology of the red blood cell, in particular the physiological and biochemical architecture of its cell membrane.

In 1931, Dr. Parpart accepted a faculty position at Princeton University shortly after receiving his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. In 1948, he was elevated to chairman of Princeton’s department of biology, a position he occupied until his sudden death in 1965. Each June, Dr. Parpart transported his laboratory to Woods Hole, where he spent summers doing research at the MBL. For more than ten years, he was a faculty member of the MBL’s Physiology course and in 1963, he was elected president of the Laboratory.

Widely known for his work in physiology and biochemistry, Dr. Parpart made a vital contribution to medical science during World War II by directing a top-priority research project, which succeeded in lengthening the time human blood can be stored from three days to a maximum of forty days.

The career of Arthur K. Parpart was a notable one in all respects. He was a productive scientist, a vigorous and preserving leader, and a man who engendered the respect and friendship of scores of students and colleagues.

The Nancy S. Rafferty Lectureship

The Nancy S. Rafferty Lectureship in Embryology was established to recognize Dr. Rafferty’s long career in eye research. Dr. Rafferty (1930-2004) was instrumental in elucidating the ultrastructural relationship between lens accommodation and actin filament arrays in mammals and amphibians.

Dr. Rafferty received her MS and PhD degrees from the University of Illinois in 1953 and 1958, respectively, under the tutelage of Dr. S. Meryl Rose. Following her dissertation work, Dr. Rafferty completed a postdoctoral fellowship at The Johns Hopkins University, where she subsequently served as assistant professor in the department of anatomy in the School of Medicine. In 1970, she and her husband Keen moved to the Chicago area, where she joined the department of anatomy at Northwestern University Medical School. She was promoted to professor in 1976.

During her career, Dr. Rafferty published 55 journal articles and 31 abstracts. She served on study sections of the National Institutes of Health and was a member of the Vision Advisory Research Committee. Dr. Rafferty traveled the world giving invited talks in Great Britain (Guy’s Hospital Medical School, Nottingham University, Oxford University and Edinburgh University), East Germany, Holland, Spain, Canada, Japan, Australia, San Francisco, Finland, and Sweden.

Dr. Rafferty first came to the MBL in 1955 as a student in the Embryology course. She returned periodically to conduct research at the MBL beginning in 1988. Upon retirement from Northwestern in 1994, she moved her laboratory to MBL where she was a senior scientist and a member of the Corporation. Dr. Rafferty and her husband long felt a love for the MBL and Woods Hole. She would have been particularly pleased that a lectureship in Embryology has been established in her name.

The Thomas Sargent Reese Endowed Lecture in Neurobiology

The Thomas Sargent Reese Endowed Lecture in Neurobiology was established to honor Dr. Reese’s love and commitment to science and his devotion to the Neurobiology course at the MBL. Dr. Reese became exceptionally well-integrated into the course from 1980 to 1988, while maintaining a year-round MBL laboratory and an appointment at the NIH and is the only faculty member to teach throughout its 40-year existence.

Beyond his service to the course, Dr. Reese has been a great collaborator, teacher, and mentor. Each summer he opens his lab in the Loeb Laboratory basement to investigators and to the Neurobiology course. Former students can remember their first glimpse of the glowing green screen of his electron microscope as the wonders of cell structure, with nanometer resolution, became visible. Or watching Dr. Reese sitting in front of his Balzers high-pressure freezer, with tanks hissing and liquid nitrogen smoke trailing along the floor.

Others may fondly remember hanging out in “The Pit” with Tom and his beloved companions: his standard poodles, Wickett and Watson, or later, Bo. No matter what the memory, we all know that he is a very special scientist, teacher, mentor, and friend.

The S. Meryl Rose Lectureship

The S. Meryl Rose Lectureship was established in honor of Dr. Rose’s distinguished career as a research scientist and his dedication to teaching. Dr. Rose (1912-1995) conducted innovative zoological research with a major emphasis on the regeneration of limbs of amphibians. He received his MA from Amherst College in 1935 and his PhD in Zoology from Columbia in 1940. 

During his career, Dr. Rose held professorships at Smith College, the University of Illinois, and Wesleyan University. From 1961 until his retirement, he was professor of experimental embryology and University Professor of Biology at Tulane University Medical School. Dr. Rose mentored 23 PhD candidates and one MD, encouraging all to develop and defend ideas even when they differed from his own. He authored and co-authored more than 50 published research papers, a number written in collaboration with his wife, Florence Rose, his long-time research co-worker and critic.

Dr. Rose spent many summers in Woods Hole doing research at the MBL. He was course director of the Marine Embryology course from 1950 to 1955 and served two terms as a member of the MBL’s Board of Trustees. Dr. Rose was an avid sailor who loved sailing his sloop, Mystic, in Vineyard Sound. Dr. Rose passed away on April 16, 1995. He will long be remembered by his students, colleagues, and friends for his great wit, devotion to science, boundless imagination, and unending generosity.

The Jack and Rosalyn Rosenbluth Endowed Lectures in Neurobiology and Physiology

Jack Rosenbluth is a Research Professor and Professor Emeritus of Neuroscience and Physiology at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine where he received his medical degree. His early work focused on the structure and contraction mechanism of smooth and obliquely striated muscles.  More recently, he focused on mutant mice and rats that have myelin disorders to determine the physiological consequences of loss or damage to specific myelin components. The myelin defects seen in some of these rodents mimic those in human demyelinating diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, and have been implicated as well in other diseases including schizophrenia.

Dr. Rosenbluth has had a long relationship with the MBL serving as a course faculty member in the Neurobiology and Pathogenesis of Neuroimmunologic Disease courses, including as Course Director in 1995, 1997, 1991, and 2001. He has advised the MBL as a member of the MBL Society since 1974 and in 2016 became an Emeritus Member.

In 2019, Jack and his wife Rosalyn endowed lectures in the two courses related to fields that had a great impact on Jack’s career–Neurobiology and Physiology. Jack and Roz continue to split time between their homes in New Rochelle, NY and Falmouth, MA in the summer.

The John Saunders Endowed Lectureship in Embryology

Dr. John Saunders (1919-2015) was a pioneer in the field of developmental biology. Dr. Saunders’ achievements have been nationally and internationally recognized and his studies provided the foundational concepts for current research in developmental biology.

Dr. Saunders’ research on development of the vertebrate limb has driven our understanding of growth and patterning, and still frames the questions that remain. His studies of the apical ectodermal ridge (AER) helped identify the role of growth factors in the growth and patterning of the developing limb, and his identification and study of the zone of polarizing activity (ZPA) demonstrated how this regionally limited tissue spreads essential information across the limb to dictate different skeletal patterns. His early recognition of the role of cell death in developmental morphogenesis and how developmental fields set up intricate feather patterns are also part of his long legacy to scientific understanding. Dr. Saunders received many awards during his career, including President of the Society of Developmental Biology and the Edwin Grant Conklin Medal awardee in 1996 and the University of Oklahoma College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award in 2007. In 2006, Dr. Saunders was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Saunders was a summer investigator at the Marine Biological Laboratory from 1958 to 1972 and a lecturer in the Embryology Course during these early years and from 1995 to 2003, where he continued to inspire many young developmental biologists.

Andrew Szent-Györgyi Endowed Lecture in Physiology

Andrew Szent-Györgyi’s (1924-2015) life 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 Biology 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 was a Professor Emeritus in 2015. He 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 was always Andrew’s home regardless of where his faculty positions took him. His association with the MBL began almost immediately upon his arrival in America in 1948 and, over the years, he played a vital role in the institution’s growth and development. He had a long association with the MBL Physiology course, beginning in 1955, where he served either as an instructor, consultant or 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 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 had 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 had served as an inspiration for all his trainees and his many collaborators over the years. 

Andrew published over 140 research articles and 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 was an Honorary Member of the Hungarian Academy of Science.

The Kensal E. Van Holde Lectureship in Physiology

Kensal E. van Holde (1928-2019) received both BS and PhD 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. He served as a course faculty member for five years, and later as Course Director from 1977 to 1981.
 

His experiences in the Physiology course marked a turning point in Dr. van Holde’s career. The enthusiasm of the staff and students at the MBL fired an excitement for biological research that dominated all 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 led the van Holde family to return nearly every summer for more than 40 years. During that time, Dr. van Holde served on both the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee of the MBL. He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.

Gertrude "Aunt Gussie" Forkosh Waxler Endowed Lecture

The Gertrude Forkosh Waxler Lectureship was established by The FMH Foundation, David S. Forkosh, MD, President, in memory of his aunt, affectionately known as Gussie.

Gertrude Forkosh Waxler was born and raised in Chicago – the eldest of six children. As the eldest child, Ms. Waxler was often responsible for the care of younger siblings. Although she did not have the advantage of a college degree, Ms. Waxler recognized the value of education and understood its importance to one’s future. She worked in a jewelry store for thirty years using her income to put her brothers and brothers-in-law through medical and dental school.

Among family members, she is remembered for her loyalty, devotion, and sacrifices. Ms. Waxler is one of many women who labored selflessly so that others might prosper. She possessed the spirit of philanthropy and the desire to make a difference.