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Special Seminars, Endowed Lectures
We host five endowed lectures throughout the academic year. Endowed lectures are paid for with private funds invested and held by the Regents of the University.
The Daniel I. Arnon Lecture was established with resources from the Charles F. Kettering Foundation. The endowment also supports graduate students who are designated Arnon Fellows.
The Bob B. Buchanan and Harry Tsujimoto Lectures were established with a generous gift from the K/T Foundation of San Francisco.
The Taylor-White Lecture is a unique collaboration between Tom White, an entrepreneur, and John Taylor, a professor in the department. Together they performed research and published papers.
The Kustu Lecture is supported by donations from students, faculty and staff who worked with Sydney Kustu, a professor in the department.
The Arnon Lecture honors the late Professor Daniel I. Arnon (1910-1994). Arnon spent his career at Berkeley, obtaining his Ph.D. in plant nutrition with Dennis R. Hoagland and later joining the faculty. He is best known for his pioneering research in the fields of photosynthesis and plant nutrition. His career is recounted in a memoir written for the National Academy of Sciences. The lecture is held annually in early March. Speakers have made distinguished contributions to photosynthesis or a related field and are selected by the Arnon Lecture Committee.
|2000||Paul D. Boyer||2001||George H. Lorimer|
|2002||Bob B. Buchanan||2003||Jan M. Anderson|
|2004*||Jean-David Rochaix||2004*||F.R. Whatley|
|2005||Joanne Chory||2006||William A. Cramer|
|2007||Achim Trebst||2008||James Barber|
|2009||Elisabeth Gantt||2010||Arnon Centennial Symposium at Asilomar**|
|2011||Jürgen Soll||2012||Don Bryant|
|2013||Mark Stitt||2014||Robert Blankenship|
|2015||Roberto Bassi||2016||Eva Mari-Aro|
|2017||Arthur Grossman||2018||Toshiharu Hase|
|2019||Francis-Andre Wollman||2020||Petra Fromme|
The Bob. B. Buchanan Lecture honors Professor Bob B. Buchanan, a longtime faculty member in the department. Professor Buchanan did undergraduate work at Emory and Henry College and obtained a Ph.D. in Microbiology from Duke University. After completing postdoctoral research with the late Professor Jesse C. Rabinowitz in the Department of Biochemistry, Buchanan joined the UC Berkeley faculty in 1963. He is known for his contributions to microbiology, photosynthesis and plant biochemistry.
Speakers are typically young investigators on the way to achieving prominence in plant biology. They are selected by postdoctoral scholars in the Department of Plant & Microbial Biology.
|2001||Peter Schrümann||2001||Kenneth Cline|
|2002||Henry Daniell||2003||Julian Schroeder|
|2005||Jim Carrington||2005||Steve Kay|
|2007||Savithramma Dinesh-Kumar||2008||Jen Sheen|
|2009||Steve Jacobsen||2010||Dominique Bergmann|
|2011||Xuemei Chen||2012||Cyril Zipfel|
|2013||Thomas Lahaye||2014||Kelly Craven|
|2015||Sam Hazen||2016||Jing-Ke Weng|
|2017||Yannick Jacob||2018||Nidhi Rawat|
The newest lecture series, starting Spring 2016, honors Sydney Kustu.
Sydney Govons Kustu was born in 1943 in Baltimore, Md. She earned a B.A. at Harvard University and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from UC Davis, and did post-doctoral work at UC Berkeley until 1973, when she was appointed to the UC Davis Bacteriology faculty. She remained at UC Davis until 1986, when she joined what was then Berkeley’s Microbiology and Immunology faculty, with a dual appointment in Plant Pathology. She retired in 2010.
In addition to being a National Academy of Science member, Kustu garnered a large number of other awards during her career at Berkeley. She was a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Microbiology. She also held a number of national and international professorships, including a prestigious Gauss Professorship at Universität Göttingen. For more than a decade, her work was supported by National Institutes of Health MERIT Awards.
Kustu is best known for her seminal contributions on the responses of intestinal bacteria to nutrient limitations, particularly nitrogen.
|Spring 2017||Mary Lidstrom|
|Fall 2017||Christine Jacobs|
The Taylor-White lecture debuted in Fall, 2013. It was planned when Dr. White was the Regents’ Lecturer for the Berkeley Campus, Fall Semester 2012 - Spring Semester 2013. It commemorates a scientific collaboration spanning three decades.
Thomas J. White and John W. Taylor began their collaboration on fungal molecular evolution in 1982 when Taylor invited White to an informal seminar in the Botany Department on the Berkeley campus to present his Cetus Corporation research on fungal enzymes that convert plant cell walls to sugar. Following that meeting, they used a cloned fungal ribosomal DNA to show that fungi were not close relatives of red algae (Kwok et al. 1986); a modest accomplishment, but one of the first efforts to apply molecular evolution to fungi.
In 1988, White took a sabbatical from Cetus to work in Taylor’s lab, where he introduced Berkeley mycologists to the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), a technique that was just becoming practical due to the availability of thermocyclers and a recombinant form of thermostable Taq polymerase. Working with postdoc Tom Bruns and graduate student Steve Lee, they developed an approach to rapidly PCR amplify and sequence fungal rDNA for evolutionary comparisons (White et al. 1990), which has been cited more than once a day since then. The application of PCR to questions in fungal evolution led to the first publication on the topic (Bruns et al. 1989), and an influential review on fungal molecular evolution (Bruns et al. 1991).
White and Taylor began their collaboration on fungal molecular evolution in 1982 when Taylor invited White to an informal seminar in the Botany Department on the Berkeley campus to present his Cetus Corporation research on fungal enzymes that convert plant cell walls to sugar. Following that meeting, they used a cloned fungal ribosomal DNA to show that fungi were not close relatives of red algae (Kwok et al. 1986); a modest accomplishment, but one of the first efforts to apply molecular evolution to fungi. Read more about the Taylor-White Collaboration
|2012||Tom White - Regents Lecture||Link|
A graduate of Cornell, Harry Y. Tsujimoto received his M.S. degree with the late Professor Daniel Arnon and worked closely with him for the next 30 years. He served as a research scientist, technical resource person and mentor to newcomers in the laboratory. He is an author and co-athor of many papers published by the Arnon group. In addition to embodying the highest of standards, the Tsujimoto Lecture recognizes someone who exerted a major influence on the field of plant biology or microbiology. Speakers are selected by graduate students in the Department of Plant & Microbial Biology.