James M. Akagi Lecture in Microbiology

     As a Japanese-American youth during World War II, Jim Akagi spent time living in a U.S. internment camp in Idaho. Following the war, he attended the University of Illinois where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Bacteriology. Jim then came to KU for his Master’s (1955) and PhD (1959) degrees, both in bacteriology, working with David Paretsky. Following his PhD, Jim performed post-doctoral research with Leon Campbell in Microbiology at Western Reserve University School of Medicine (now Case Western Reserve).
     After his post-doctoral training, Jim returned to KU as an Assistant Professor in 1961. He remained on the faculty at KU until his retirement in 1995. He was quickly promoted, and attained the rank of full Professor in 1967.  In 1976 he became Chair of the Department of Microbiology. In his latter years with the department, he served as Acting Chair of Microbiology for a couple terms, at the request of the Dean. 
     Jim Akagi was a physiologist, biochemist, and enzymologist who studied bacterial enzyme catalytic mechanisms -particularly those enzymes involved in sulfate reduction and the catabolism of aliphatic and aromatic compounds. Much of his work centered on the bacterial genus Desulfovibrio - a Gram negative, sulfate-reducing bacterium whose odor was well known within the department. Jim published numerous papers in the area of bacterial physiology and was considered one of the international experts on the enzymatic reactions of sulfate reduction. He maintained continuous funding for his research throughout his distinguished career, in part due to his high level of research productivity and his important contributions to his research field.  
     Jim Akagi was a credit to the Department of Microbiology and the University of Kansas. He is a modest individual, despite his outstanding accomplishments, and has an excellent sense of humor. He now resides in the Seattle, Washington area.

Akagi Lecturers

2023 FallAlex HorswillUniversity of Colorado Medical Center
2023 SpringClinton JonesOklahoma State University
2021Joseph HeitmanDuke University School of Medicine
2019James Van EttenUniversity of Nebraska-Lincoln
2018David (Ted) HackstadtTraffic, Cellular Microbiology and Infection and Immunity
2016Victor DiRitaMichigan State University
2014Scott HultgrenWashington University
2011 SpringGary DunnyUniversity of Minnesota
2011 FallJorge GalanYale University
2010Ian MacaraUniversity of Virginia Medical School
2008 FallBonnie BasslerPrinceton University
2008 SpringChristian RaetzDuke University

Caryle Bender Carr Lecture in Molecular Biosciences

Caryle Bender Carr was born in Ellsworth Kansas in 1931. She received an undergraduate degree from Emporia State University and her PhD in Biochemistry from KU in 1968. Following her PhD, she pursued a career in medical education, primarily at KU Med, in the area of clinical chemistry and medical technology. She married Dr. Dan Carr and they resided in Overland Park, Kansas for 38 years until they both retired to “the farm” in Leavenworth County, Kansas in 2001. Dan Carr was a Professor of Biochemistry at KUMC prior to his retirement. As a graduate student in Biochemistry at KU, Caryle especially enjoyed the opportunity to hear presentations from and to meet a diversity of scientists through the department’s invited speaker seminar series. Following Caryle’s passing in 2018, Dan Carr established the Caryle Bender Carr Lecture in Molecular Biosciences to honor her memory and support the department’s invited speaker seminar series for current and future members of the department.

Bender Carr Lecturers

2023Mark FreyUniv. of Southern California
2022Mark DenisonVanderbilt Univ. Med. Center
2021 FallEva NogalesUC Berkeley
2021 SpringColeen T. MurphyPrinceton University
2019Janet RichmondUniv. Illinois at Chicago

John C. Davis Memorial Lecture in Cell Biology

     John C. Davis joined the University of Kansas faculty in 1976 after completing a doctorate at Pennsylvania State University and postdoctoral studies at Johns Hopkins. His training was in cell biology and endocrinology and his research interests focused on the behavior, morphogenesis, and hormone stimulation of rat testicular cells in vitro. John was a fine teacher, a creative and energetic researcher, and an inspiration to students and colleagues. In his third year at KU he was diagnosed with malignant melanoma and after a brave struggle over many months, he died in 1979 at the age of 33. His two doctoral students had completed much of their research, and their dissertations were written in association with John’s faculty colleagues. One of John’s students was Larry Erickson, an internationally known researcher with the Upjohn Pharmaceutical Company, who is studying the expression of blood-clotting factors in transgenic mice. Larry captured the spirit of John Davis in the “Acknowledgements” section of his dissertation, where he expressed his gratitude to his mentor and said: “His unquenchable enthusiasm for science and life will always be remembered.” John’s friends and colleagues established the John C. Davis Memorial Lecture Series in 1980 as a way to celebrate the fact that he made a difference in our lives.

Davis Lecturers

2022Randal HalfmannStowers Institute for Medical Research
2019Paul WadeNIEHS, NIH
2017Mary DassoNICHD, NIH
2014Joe LutkenhausUniversity of Kansas Medical Center
2013Peter A. JonesUniversity of Southern California
2012James P. CalvetUniversity of Kansas Medical Center
2011 FallKent GolicUniversity of Utah
2011 SpringHenry KrauseUniversity of Toronto
2009Leslie VoshallThe Rockefeller University
2008Tom BlumenthalUniversity of Colorado
2007Mohan GuptaDana-Farber Cancer Institute
2006Lawrence DreyfusUniversity of Missouri-Kansas City
2005Alan SherNational Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
2004Eric A. JohnsonUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison
2003Gerard P. ZambettiSt. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
2002Jerry Jaax and Nancy K. JaaxKansas State University
2001Woodring E. Wright U.T. Southwestern Medical Center
2000Frederick W. AltHarvard Medical School
1999Jay C. DunlapDartmouth Medical School
1998Thomas KaufmannIndiana University
1997Nicholas K. TonksCold Spring Harbor Laboratory
1996Gary RuvkunHarvard Medical School
1995Meg TitusDuke University Medical School
1994Mary C. BeckerleUniversity of Utah
1993Robert JensenJohns Hopkins Medical School
1992Peter Hollenbeck Harvard University
1991Malcolm SteinbergPrinceton University
1987George B. WitmanWorcester Foundation
1986David EpelStanford University
1985Julian DavidsonStanford University
1984Robert W. GoyUniversity of Wisconsin
1983Claude DesjardinsUniversity of Virginia
1982Edward EddyNational Institutes of Health
1981Larry EwingJohns Hopkins University

Arthur Atsunobu Hirata Memorial Lecture in Immunology

    Dr. Hirata was born in Los Angeles, California.  He received his baccalaureate and master's degrees in zoology at Duke University.  Dr. Hirata first became interested in immunology during his graduate studies in zoology at the University of California at Los Angeles, where he earned a Ph.D. degree in 1958.  His interest matured at the California Institute of Technology where, under the tutelage of Professor Dan H. Campbell, an eminent immunochemist, he carried out postdoctoral research as a National Science Foundation Research Fellow.  In 1960 he moved to the National Institutes of Health in Maryland as a Staff Research Immunologist, and in 1965 he became a Research Fellow in Immunology at Abbott Laboratories in North Chicago, Illinois.  He joined the faculty of the University of Kansas as a Professor of Microbiology in 1973, but returned to Abbott Laboratories in 1975 to become a Senior Research Fellow and Head of the Laboratories of Immunology, a position he held until his death.
     Dr. Hirata's life-long scientific interest was immunochemistry, especially as it applied to medical diagnostic technologies.  In this area alone he published many scholarly papers and received more than twenty patents.  He was an active member of more than a dozen professional societies.  His devotion to academic science was evident from his participation in the graduate teaching programs at Northwestern University and the University of Illinois Medical School.  Moreover, throughout his tenure at Abbott Laboratories he maintained a particularly close and active association with the faculty and students in the Department of Microbiology as an Adjunct Professor of Microbiology at the University of Kansas.  This endowed lectureship was established through contributions by Abbott Laboratories and the family, colleagues, and many friends of the late Dr. Arthur A. Hirata.

Hirata Lecturers

2024Won Jin HoJohns Hopkins University
2011David WoodlandTrudeau Institute
2008Thomas WaldmannNational Cancer Institute
2002Max CooperUniversity of Alabama
2001Richard LynchUniversity of Iowa
2000Steven KunkelUniversity of Michigan
1999Kim BottomlyYale University
1997John CambierNational Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine
1990Jack StromingerHarvard University
1988Elvin A. KabatColumbia University

Philip and Marjorie Newmark Award Lecture in Biochemistry

     The Newmark Award was initiated to remember Dr. Philip Newmark, a faculty member in the Department of Biochemistry, who, at the age of 42, in the midst of an impressive career, was stricken with a fatal heart attack. Led by Byron Wenger, Paul Kitos, and Dwight Mulford, the Newmark Award was established to recognize outstanding research by a K.U. student and build the biochemistry program. Dr. Newmark received his bachelor's degree from City College of New York and his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, working with Dr. Irving Goodman. He did two post-docs, one at Washington University with Barry Commoner, studying nucleic acids (1950-52) and a second at the University of California, Berkeley, with Dr. Wendell Stanley, studying plant RNA viruses (1952-54). He became an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Kansas in 1954. Here, he began a productive research career investigating the physical and chemical characteristics of plant RNA viruses, especially TMV.
     Dr. Marjorie Newmark, Philip's wife, came to K.U. as a Research Associate in 1954, working with Dr. Byron Wenger. She became a Lecturer in 1962, was promoted to Assistant Professor in 1964, and Associate Professor in 1974. During the early part of her career, Marge carried out research on arterial metabolism and atherogenesis, gradually shifting her emphasis to teaching in addition to the sole responsibility of raising their three children. Marge taught a variety of biochemistry courses including introductory biochemistry and a graduate level course in cell regulatory mechanisms. She is probably best remembered for the challenging introductory biochemistry lab course that she designed for our undergraduate and graduate biochemistry majors. She obtained NSF funding for equipment to set up this lab in 1971, teaching it almost every fall until her retirement in 1991. The course was initially well reviewed by the NSF panel, and continues to garner praise from the students who benefited from it. Marge was nominated for the prestigious H.O.P.E. Award. She can also take credit for building the biochemistry graduate program from a mere handful of students to a thriving program of over 40 students during her tenure as Director of Graduate Studies for the Department.

Newmark Lecturers

2024Scott BlanchardSt. Judes Children's Research Hospital
2023Sam GellamUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison
2022Taekjip HaJohns Hopkins School of Medicine
2021J. Andrew McCammonUniversity of California San Diego
2019Stephen WhiteUniversity of California Irvine
2018Jerry ShayUT Southwestern Medical Center
2017Donald M. EngelmanYale School of Medicine
2016Charles R. SandersVanderbilt University School of Medicine
2015Karen AllenBoston University
2014Chaitin KhoslaStanford University
2013Thomas Meek GlaxoSmithKline
2012David Ballou University of Michigan Medical School
2011David Eisenberg UCLA-DOE Inst. For Genomics & Proteomics
2010Sarah O’Connor Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2008Kenneth A. Johnson University of Texas, Austin
2007Heidi Hamm Vanderbilt University
2006Michael F. Summers University of Maryland Baltimore County
2005Chang-An Yu Oklahoma State University
2004Pamela Björkman California Institute of Technology
2004Frank Millett University of Arkansas
2003Paul D. Boyer University of California, Los Angeles
2002Joan A. Steitz Yale University
2001Madeline A. Shea University of Iowa
2000Michael G. Rossmann Purdue University
1999Reza Ghadiri Scripps Research Institute
1998Litsa Kranias University of Cincinnati
1997Clare Woodward University of Minnesota
1996Ernesto Carafoli Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
1995Nam-Hai Chua Rockefeller Institute
1994Wayne Hubbell University of California, Los Angeles
1993Clayton A. Buck Wistar Institute
1992Richard E. McCarty Johns Hopkins University
1991David D. Thomas University of Minnesota
1990Howard K. Schachman University of California, Berkeley
1989Eric E. Conn University of California, Davis
1988Ernest Hodgson North Carolina State University
1987R. David Cole University of California, Berkeley
1986Thomas F. Deuel Washington University
1985 James Travis University of Georgia
1984Ralph A. Bradshaw University of California, Irvine
1983Anthony Pegg Pennsylvania State University
1982John Katzenellenbogen University of Illinois
1981Leroy Hood California Institute of Technology
1980Aaron J. Shatkin Roche Institute of Molecular Biology
1979Mary Ellen Jones University of North Carolina
1978Harold Edelhoch National Institutes of Health
1977Elizabeth F. Neufeld National Institutes of Health
1976Richard E. Dickerson California Institute of Technology
1975Nathan Brot Roche Institute of Molecular Biology
1974Hector F. DeLuca University of Wisconsin
1973David Paretsky University of Kansas
1972Arthur B. Pardee Princeton University
1971William F. Harrington Johns Hopkins University
1970Howard K. Schachman University of California, Berkeley
1969Alfred Linker University of Utah Medical School
1968William Welch University of Kansas
1967Albert Benedict University of Hawaii
1966Dexter French Iowa State University
1965Morris Soodak Brandeis University
1964Irving Goodman Columbia University