Although our emeriti faculty are enjoying their well-deserved retirement, we enjoy seeing them stop by to see how we are holding up in their absence.
Marjorie (Kelly) Cowan
Professor Emerita of Microbiology
Phone: (513) 305-2248
Ph.D., University of Louisville, 1987
Postdoctoral position: University of Maryland Center of Marine Biotechnology; 1987-1989
Postdoctoral position: Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, The Netherlands; 1989-1992
(Note: instructional faculty - not accepting graduate students)
Kelly has been a faculty member in the microbiology department of Miami University since 1993. While at Miami, Dr. Cowan has published several book chapters, a major review article, and two dozen research articles stemming from her work on bacterial adhesion mechanisms and plant-derived antimicrobial compounds. Her anti-adhesion research has been externally funded and is the subject of two patents. In 2021 a Stanford University study included her in the top 2% of researchers in terms of career-long impact.
Kelly is also an avid teacher and pedagogical researcher. Her articles have appeared in the Journal of College Science Teaching, the Journal on Excellence in College Teaching and The Teaching Professor. She is the recipient of a Celebration of Teaching Award sponsored by the Greater Cincinnati Consortium of Colleges and Universities.
She is past chair of the Undergraduate Education Committee of the American Society for Microbiology and past chair of ASM's Division W. She has also served as president of the Ohio Branch of the American Society for Microbiology. From 2003-2005 she served as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of Miami University Middletown; and was the campus Dean from 2005-2009. She served as a “loaned executive” in 2015, serving as director of the Middletown campus of Cincinnati State Technical and Community College.
Her McGraw-Hill textbook, Microbiology: A Systems Approach is in its sixth edition. She is also the author of Microbe Files: Case Studies for the Undergraduate (Pearson). Her third textbook, Fundamentals of Microbiology: A Clinical Approach, is in its fourth edition.
In recent years, Kelly has been researching the role of poverty in the college classroom, something acknowledged but all too often not acted upon.
“American higher education is characterized by limited or no learning for a large proportion of students, and persistent or growing inequalities over time.” - Academically Adrift, Richard Arum
These are talks she gives frequently around the country:
- Bridging the Achievement Gap in Your Classroom, appropriate for high-school and college instructors of all disciplines
- Poverty and Literacy, appropriate for schools, colleges, and almost any other type of group
After stepping down as dean, Kelly created the Community Building Institute (CBI), an independently funded organization that helps create strong neighborhoods and supports under-resourced citizens from pre-school to career in Middletown. CBI currently spends over $1 million serving Middletown’s needs.
- Rendle, P.M., A. Seger, J. Rodrigues, N.J. Oldham, R.R. Bott, J.B. Jones, M.M. Cowan, B.G. Davis. 2004. Glycodendriproteins: A synthetic glycoprotein mimic enzyme with branched sugar-display potently inhibits bacterial aggregation. J. Am. Chem. Soc.126: 4750-4751.
This paper was chosen as one of the most significant research stories of 2004 by Chemical and Engineering News
- Budu, C.E., J. Luengpailin, M.M. Cowan and R.J. Doyle. 2003. Virulence factors of Porphyromonas gingivalis are modified by polyphenol oxidase and asparaginase. Oral Microbiol. Immunol. 18:313-317.
- Cowan, M.M., K. Abshire, S.L. Houk, S.N. Evans. 2003. Antimicrobial efficacy of a silver-zeolite matrix coating on stainless steel. J. Industrial Microbiol. Biotechnol. 30:102-106.
- Microbiology: A Systems Approach. 6th Edition, 2020. McGraw-Hill.
- Microbiology Fundamentals: A Clinical Approach. 4th Edition, 2021. McGraw-Hill.
- The Microbe Files: Case Studies in Microbiology for the Undergraduate, 2002. Benjamin Cummings, San Francisco, CA.
NPR's Talk of the Nation with Dr. Kelly Cowan
Anne Morris Hooke
Professor Emerita of Microbiology
Office: 32 Pearson Hall
Ph.D., Georgetown University 1979
Before I retired from Miami University, my interests were in the mechanisms bacteria use to infect human beings and cause disease, and how we can use this knowledge to prevent infection by bacterial pathogens. Specifically, our research exploited the properties of bacterial mutants that are unable to grow at body temperature and has been applied to the following three areas: the development of temperature-sensitive mutants of Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella enteritidis and Listeria monocytogenes for use in quantitative assays measuring the bactericidal activity of phagocytes; the development of a model using temperature-sensitive mutants of E. coli, P. aeruginosa, Burkholderia cepacia, S. enteritidis and Haemophilus influenzae to study quantitatively the replication of the parental wild-types in experimental animals; and the combination of multiple temperature-sensitive mutations in a single strain to develop safe, live, attenuated vaccines against meningitis (H. influenzae), chronic Pseudomonas infection of patients with Cystic Fibrosis (P. aeruginosa), typhoid fever (S. typhi), strangles (Streptococcus equi) and swine pleuropneumonia (Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae).
We also examined some of the extracellular products of the opportunistic pathogen B. cepacia, in particular the lipases responsible for hydrolysing egg yolk and a non-hemolytic phospholipase C (PLC). We purified and partially characterized the PLC and we studied its contribution to pathogenesis in a new model using the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans.
Other projects in the laboratory included the identification and characterization of polyaromatic hydrocarbon degraders isolated from creosote-contaminated Superfund Sites, and the role of quorum sensing in the regulation of expression of the virulence factors produced by B. cepacia, A. pleuropneumoniae, and S. equi.
- Muhammad, N., and A. Morris Hooke. 2003. Biomass characterization of slow sand filtration schumutzdecke and its effects on filter performance. Environ. Technol. 24:43-50.
- Muhammad, N., and A. Morris Hooke. 2003. Toxicity of heavy metals for microorganisms isolated from sand filter schmutzdecke. Environ. Technol. 24:1097-1102.
- Weingart, C., and A. Morris Hooke. 1999. A nonhemolytic phospholipase C from Burkholderia cepacia. Curr. Microbiol. 38:233-238.
- Weingart, C., and A. Morris Hooke. 1999. Regulation of expression of the nonhemolytic phospholipase C ofBurkholderia cepacia. Curr. Microbiol. 39:336-341.
- Sordelli D. O., M.C. Cerquetti, M.C. Buzzola, V.E. Garcia, M.I. Gomez, and A. Morris Hooke. 1998. Attenuated mutants of Staphylococcus aureus with two temperature-sensitive lesions: isolation and characterization. MICROBIOS 94:95-102.
John R. Stevenson
Associate Professor of Microbiology
Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University, 1972
During my research career at Miami University, I was interested in the effects of protein malnutrition on development and function of the immune system. Studies in my laboratory have shown that protein malnourished mice develop an immunodeficiency syndrome characterized by thymic atrophy that leads to depressed immune responsiveness. Development of this immunodeficiency syndrome is triggered by increased plasma corticosterone, which induces thymocyte apoptosis that results in thymic atrophy. As malnutrition continues, the number of T lymphocytes decreases in the blood and the spleen as well as in the thymus. This immunodeficiency syndrome is important to study because T cells play a pivotal role in generation and maintenance of the immune responses necessary for prevention of, and recovery from, infection. Current research in my laboratory is aimed at determining how this immunodeficiency syndrome develops and how it affects the functions of the immune system in host defense against infection.
We have shown that high levels of corticosterone induce apoptosis of immature thymic T cells to cause the thymic atrophy seen in protein malnourished mice. However, the thymic atrophy is not as rapid nor as severe as would be predicted based on the corticosterone levels in these mice. This is because apoptosis is somehow downregulated by heat shock proteins produced by these thymocytes in response to the stress of their protein deficiency. We are now investigating the mechanisms by which the heat shock proteins inhibit thymocyte apoptosis as well as the mechanisms by which corticosterone induces apoptosis in this system. These studies are facilitated by the use of silencing RNA and plasmid constructs encoding heat shock protein genes, flow cytometric analysis of apoptotic events, and intracellular flow cytometric assays of glucocorticoid receptors and heat shock proteins.
Our protein malnourished mice exhibit decreased resistance to infection with bacteria such as Listeria monocytogenesand Salmonella enteritidis, and by the fungus, Candida albicans. We have shown that corticosterone causes decreased killing of Candida by neutrophils in these mice in addition to slowing their ability to form abscesses, and we think this is due to diminution of T cell numbers below the level needed to produce the cytokines necessary to enhance host defenses. We have shown that the decreased resistance to Salmonella is due to a combination of low T cell numbers, which leads to diminished ability to synthesize enough interferon-gamma for efficient activation of macrophages, and direct inhibitory effects of corticosterone on macrophage activation. To gain more insight into the mechanisms by which these effects occur, we investigated the effects of corticosterone on macrophage synthesis/secretion of interleukin-12 (IL-12) and T cell synthesis/secretion of IL-4, IL-10 and interferon-gamma. These studies were facilitated by the use of cytokine analysis and flow cytometric quantification of T cell and macrophage phenotypes.
- Barone, K. Siobhan and John R. Stevenson. 1994. Characterization of Thymic Atrophy and Regeneration in Protein-Malnourished Weanling Mice. Journal of Nutritional Immunology, 3:13-26.
- Barone, K. Siobhan, Patricia C. M. O'Brien, and John R. Stevenson.1993. Characterization and Mechanisms of Thymic Atrophy in Protein-Malnourished Mice: Role of Corticosterone. Cellular Immunology, 148:226-233.
- Mellencamp, Mark W., Patricia C. M. O'Brien, and John R. Stevenson.1991. Pseudorabies Virus-Induced Suppression of MHC Class I Antigen Expression. Journal of Virology, 65:3365-3368.
- Williams, Megan E., Donald C. Cox, and John R. Stevenson. 1986. Rejection of Reovirus-Treated L1210 Cells by Mice. Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy, 23:87-92.
Mary E. Woodworth
Professor Emerita of Microbiology
Office: 32 Pearson Hall
Ph.D., Temple University 1968
Before I retired from Miami University, my lab was interested in the molecular biology of tumor viruses, specifically simian virus-40 (SV40), a small DNA virus. Naturally arising variants of SV40 which have evolved because of their selective advantage over wild type and other defectives were being utilized to elucidate the mechanisms of initiation of replication and transcription in eukaryotic cells. By a comparative analysis of the biological activities of cloned variant sequences that during evolution have replaced wild type sequences in the non-coding regulatory region of SV40, we sought to identify cis-acting sequence elements and trans-acting factors which positively and/or negatively regulate replication and gene expression. We also investigated the interdependence of the overlapping functions for replication and transcription in the SV40 genome.
A 69-bp monkey DNA sequence, present in some naturally arising variants of SV40, can in either orientation enhance both replication and transcription through multiple motifs. The analysis of these cis-acting motifs that enhance replication and transcription has implicated certain cellular transcription factors to be involved. The next step would be to investigate these trans-acting factors to determine the mechanism(s) by which they function to stimulate replication and transcription. Protein-binding experiments performed with crude extracts and also with purified proteins could be used to identify factors and define the nucleotides within the monkey sequence with which they interact. Gel retardation assays, DNAse and/or DMS footprinting experiments could be used to define the binding sites of novel replication/transcription factors, and also to ask if the factors facilitate each other's binding, or the binding of viral-encoded large T antigen or the specific cellular transcription factor Sp1. The ability of factors to facilitate T antigen-mediated DNA unwinding could be tested directly by probing with a chemical that can detect alterations in DNA conformation, such as potassium permanganate.
In parallel with the binding experiments, further cis-acting studies should be done. Point mutations in binding sites could be made by site-directed mutagenesis so that the individual motifs can be assayed without altering the remainder of the monkey sequence. Another line of experiments could assay the replication activity of reiterated binding sites to determine if the stimulation of replication conforms to the enhanson model of transcriptional activation.
Once the binding sites for novel replication/transcription factors are defined, they could be used to screen a cDNA expression library to isolate the genes for these factors. The cloned genes could then be used in transfection experiments, or used to produce purified protein for in vitro replication studies. In addition, nuclease treatment and electron microscopy could be performed to determine if the monkey sequence produces a nuclease-sensitive region or possibly a nucleosome-free gap.
- Okuley, S., M. Call, T. Mitchell, B. Hu, and M.E. Woodworth. 2003. Relationship among location of T-antigen-induced DNA distortion, auxiliary sequences, and DNA replication efficiency. J. Virol. 77:10651-10657.
- Turner, W. J. and M. E. Woodworth. 2001. DNA replication efficiency depends on transcription factor-binding sites.J. Virol. 75:5638-5645.
- Wilderman, P.J., Hu, B., and M.E. Woodworth. 1999. Conformational changes in simian virus 40 rearranged regulatory regions: effects of the 21-bp promoters and their location. J. Virol. 73:10254-10263.
- Adiletta, D.C., R.W. Elliott, and M.E. Woodworth. 1993. Characterization of Murine Middle Repetitive DNA. DNA and Cell Biol. 12:319-327.
These are the microbiologists in the department that came before and helped to shape the department we have today. We will always be grateful for their contributions.
Jnanendra Kumar Bhattacharjee
Professor Emeritus of Microbiology
February 1, 1936 - October 7, 2014
A MEMORIAL TO JNANENDRA K. BHATTACHARJEE
Dr. Jnanendra Bhattacharjee (JKB to colleagues and friends) died from a sudden heart attack on Tuesday, October 7, 2014. The day before he had lunched with former colleagues, and was full of life and the energy we will always remember him by. He is survived by his beloved wife Tripti, his son Gourab, and daughter Mala.
JKB was born in Gobindaganj village in Bengal, India (now Bangladesh) on the first of February, 1936. His earliest education was in a single-room elementary school. But he then attended a government high school in Habiganj, then Murari Chand College in Sylhet for a BS in Chemistry, Botany and Physics; he was awarded an MSc in Botany (Fungal Genetics) from Dacca University in 1959, for which he also received the Pakistan President’s Award for being First in the first MSc Class. He came to the United States, and continued his interest in fungal genetics working with Carl Lindgren at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. His doctoral dissertation, defended in 1966, was “A Genetic Study of Repression at the Melezitose (MZ) Locus in Saccharomyces.” Jnanendra then worked as a Research Associate at the Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia until he arrived in Oxford as Associate Professor of Microbiology in 1968. He was promoted to Professor in 1973 and was a force in the department until he retired as Professor Emeritus in 2005 (although JKB never really retired from ANYthing…).
While JKB taught the usual microbiology courses to undergraduate and graduate MBI majors, and popular, if demanding, Miami Plan courses to undergraduates, he will always be remembered in the university and the State of Ohio for the amazing Summer Workshops he organized and taught throughout the years to high school science teachers.
JKB was also instrumental in the inception of the Master of Arts in Teaching in Biology degree program, which was a cooperative venture by the Departments of Botany, Microbiology and Zoology. Not only did he help design the original program, he taught many courses in support of it, the most notable of which were, perhaps, his National Science Foundation-funded DNA Workshops for teachers. He was most proud of these workshops, unique because the teachers not only performed real recombinant DNA experiments but they were also able to take the equipment home with them. This provided the teachers with a boost of confidence to perform the same experiments back in their classrooms. Over a 10-year period, the workshop program directly impacted approximately 250 teachers in the Tri-State area, and indirectly affected thousands of biology students through contact with their teachers. After hearing of his passing, several of those teachers wrote to us with comments: “The loss of Dr. B is a true loss to humanity. Every time I do any work with micro or biotech I think of Dr. B. He was so inspiring with his passion for educating people” (Meri Johnson); and “I became a better teacher because of my experiences with the NSF genetics workshop led by Dr. B. I am a better person because of knowing Dr. B. The world is a better place just because Dr. B was here. The NSF workshop impacted thousands of lives – not just in the knowledge gained and shared – but also because of the rejuvenation Dr. B provided for the love of teaching. Dr. B’s energy and enthusiasm for teaching and for life was contagious” (Holly Ruff).
After his formal University retirement in 2005 JKB continued to teach, for the Institute for Learning in Retirement. He addressed topics ranging from Darwin’s Legacy and Impact on Evolutionary Biology through Genetically Engineered Foods and Life on Other Planets, to the Uniqueness of Hinduism and Secular India, and his classes were as popular as those he had taught Miami undergraduates for so many years.
JKB was a world leader in research on the synthesis of lysine by the unique α-aminoadipate pathway in yeasts, specifically Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Schizosaccharomyces pombe, and he used the gene sequences he and his students, both undergraduate and graduate as well as postdoctoral fellows, identified to develop probes for detecting pathogenic Candida albicans. His research was funded continuously for 40 years by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and Eli Lilly and Company, and he also received many small grants from Sigma Xi. JKB published more than 75 papers, reviews and book chapters over his research career, and he and his students gave hundreds of presentations of their work at local, regional, national and international meetings including Mexico City, Stockholm, Leningrad, Varna, Montpellier, Kyoto, New Delhi, Helsinki, and Jerusalem. For his work on C. albicans JKB was also awarded three patents. JKB’s research was recognized by his national and international peers and he was asked to review manuscripts for the best scientific journals: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Journal of Bacteriology, Analytical Biochemistry, Journal of Lipid Research, Journal of Nutrition, Gene, Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Canadian Journal of Microbiology, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Infection and Immunity, Molecular Microbiology, and Molecular and General Genetics.
He also reviewed Grant Proposals for the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Energy, and Ohio State and Ohio Universities; he was invited to evaluate faculty members of the University of Nebraska, University of Idaho, and the Medical Schools of University of Rochester and University of Cincinnati for promotion and tenure.
Richard Garrad, a former graduate student with Dr. B, says he was a tireless and enthusiastic mentor. “He is remembered by his students as someone who truly cared about their futures and to that end he was always attentive to progress in the laboratory. All the graduate students in his laboratory felt like a small part of a greater group of researchers who had come before and would attend in the future. Dr. B would often discuss the important contributions of a previous researcher and make sure we understood where our work fit into this larger picture. What stands out for many of his undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral researchers was that Dr. B ALWAYS had time for you. If you went to his office worrying about something you always left feeling better about things, he was a person who never failed to give of himself. Dr. B was so proud to be a faculty member at Miami University; it inspired several of his students to pursue a similar career.”
An undergraduate researcher with JKB, Steven Irvin, remembers that “Dr. B allowed me to do research in his lab that I felt was comparable to what many graduate students were working on at the time. His sense of humor and perpetual commitment to students is what made him one of the best professors in all of Miami U. The research I did with Dr. B not only resulted in a publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, it led me to explore the limits of technology in answering fundamental questions in biology and evolution. His mentoring got me to work harder to achieve greatness in my work still to this day. Aside from his dedication to science Dr. B was an ambassador for culture at Miami U. He encouraged all students to get involved in science, and everyone to experience other cultures and beliefs. One such example was his introducing me to Diwali, the festival of lights. Finally, Dr. B saw something in me I think most others do not, and at times, myself included. If anyone could lead students to do their best, and strive for greatness it was certainly Dr. B.”
At one time or another JKB served on many and chaired several committees within the department. Perhaps his most notable service was as chair of the Distinguished Lecture Series Committee from its inception until his retirement, a span of nearly 20 years. This lecture series was his brainchild, first funded by the State of Ohio via a special Academic Challenge grant. JKB was a master at convincing distinguished microbiologists to come to our department each year, to visit with faculty and students and present a synopsis of their past and current research. Even before the inception of this program, JKB had often organized lecture series and recruited, among others, two Nobel Laureates, Gobind Khorana and Rosalyn Yarrow.
In these and other seminars in the department, JKB was famous for always asking two questions after a comment on the seminar and giving thanks for the speakers for sharing their research with us. Mary Woodworth, former chair of the department remembers: “When President Paul Pearson was giving a talk at a Rotary meeting and when Dr. B raised his hand President Pearson said, ‘Yes, Dr. Bhattacharjee, I know, you have TWO QUESTIONS.’ We could always depend on Dr. B to initiate discussions and interact with others in every setting.” Don Barnhart says that Dr. B was quite aware of his colleagues’ expectation of him in seminars, explaining he had been taught it was impolite not to ask a question. “The speaker had worked to prepare and present the material and one should demonstrate an interest or appreciation by asking a pertinent question.”
Provost Phyllis Callahan says “When I think of JK, I think of someone completely devoted and committed to his community, whether that was Miami or Oxford. He was an enthusiastic and positive advocate for improving the lives of our citizens.” Mary Woodworth remembers him “as a valued member of the Department of Microbiology, the University and the community, he was forever the AMBASSADOR.” David Stroupe says “At ASM meetings he was the biggest cheerleader for MU I’ve ever seen.”
Mary Ann Coleman, secretary in the Microbiology Department more than 40 years ago, recalls JKB’s patience with her questions about work he’d given her to type. She wanted to get it right and he wanted her to get it right. After a while, she says she could spell Saccharomyces cerevisiae in her sleep. Also, Mary noted, “He didn’t have the worst handwriting. This may sound trivial, but in those days, it counted if I was to type something correctly.”
Although Dr. B’s records of Research and Scholarship, and Teaching were impeccable, he thrived as well in the third pillar of the ideal faculty member: Service. He was an active participant on numerous College and University committees, most notably the President’s (Pearson, Risser, Hopkins [acting], and Garland) Council on Multicultural Affairs, and the President’s First Task Force on Human Relations Commission); he was elected to the University Faculty Rights and Responsibilities Committee, and many times to Graduate Council; he was also a member of or chaired the Natural and Applied Sciences Subcommittee of Graduate Council under five graduate deans.
Together with several other Miami scientists, JKB was a founder of the Miami University Chapter of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society. In addition to having served as its President, he received its Researcher of the Year Award, and instituted its educational outreach program honoring local teachers and students each year in conjunction with Science Day.
JKB extended his distinguished record of service beyond the red brick boundaries of Miami University to Oxford and the communities within the Tri-State region of Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. His service to the community was legendary; he was heavily involved in many Talawanda School District activities, and the Cincinnati Hindu Temple; he helped raise money to support literacy in India and he also sent many, many large boxes of textbooks to schools in India over the years – at his own expense; and he was the Vice-President of the Chicago-based Bangladesh Relief for Refugees in 1971-72. He served as President of Kiwanis and also the Oxford Community Foundation (OCF). Dr. Bhattacharjee’s extraordinary community service was recognized when he was named Distinguished Asian-American Citizen of Ohio in 2002, and Oxford Citizen of the Year in 2004.
Dr. Bhattacharjee was an integral part of the Kiwanis Club of Oxford beginning in 1988 when his son was President of the Talawanda Key Club, a Kiwanis-sponsored high school youth leadership club. JK, as he was known to club members, became Kiwanis president in 1992. An avid supporter of youth, he later served as advisor to the Key Club, Builders Club and Circle K, the Kiwanis-sponsored training clubs at Miami University and Talawanda Middle School. He rarely missed the weekly meetings of each of these clubs and was an enthusiastic participant in all their activities, imparting encouragement and support. He was cited as the Ohio Outstanding Circle K Advisor. His attendance at interclub meetings throughout Ohio and Indiana resulted in his being well known as Mr. Kiwanis. Often, he would station himself outside a colleague’s office to sell him or her a ticket to the Annual Kiwanis Pancake Day. You never felt pressured into buying one, because his passion for and commitment to the fundraiser was so infectious. During the breakfast, he could always be found personally greeting each and every one who attended, usually by name.
Dr. Bhattacharjee’s service to the Bengali, Hindu and Indian Community groups was exemplary. He was the founder of Agrani, the Bengali Society of Greater Cincinnati, where he started the Saraswati Puja (worship service for the Hindu Goddess of Learning) in the community, religiously inspiring many young people to become high achievers. Yes, JKB was also a priest and he performed Hindu priesthood services to the Bengali community.
His major accomplishment was establishing the annual Tri-State (Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky) Durga Puja 30 years ago; it was attended by more than a thousand devotees, with he himself acting as a priest for the big religious festival. JKB was one of the founding members of the Hindu Society of Greater Cincinnati, which built an inclusive Hindu Temple on 100 acres near Batavia. He also generously donated for the construction of the temple and guided the temple’s activities and priorities over the years. Occasionally he gave lectures on Hinduism to area schools and churches.
Last but not least, he was a critical and admiring voice of India and educated the ordinary Americans on Kashmir, Indian Secularism, and Nuclear Non-Proliferation by writing letters to the Cincinnati Enquirer, India Abroad, etc. and occasionally lecturing to select groups interested in these topics.
Jnanendra was always a champion in fighting for evolution in the classroom and in thwarting creationism, but when he retired he enlisted Tom Gregg’s and Gary Janssen’s participation in writing projects supporting evolution. These included op-ed pieces and letters to the editor. Most notable was a paper on “teaching evolution.” To get the widest audience of high school teachers it was submitted to the journal “The Science Teacher.” So good did they think their paper was that they failed to notice that it violated every one of the criteria for submission of manuscripts, most notably the one on length which said manuscripts longer than 2000 words would be returned without review. But the editor was so entranced with their 6800 words that, without review, she made it the centerpiece of an entire issue.
JKB was a very generous person – with his time and with his money. When lab space became a problem in MBI, he gave Hamilton Campus microbiologist David Stroupe space in his own lab. JKB’s (and Tripti’s) financial generosity extended well beyond the department – they donated money for scholarships within the university and their foundation supports activities in Oxford, Cincinnati, Dayton, and his home country, Bangladesh.
James Robinson, President Emeritus of the Oxford Community Foundation, on the occasion of JK’s retiring from the Presidency of the OCF Board, said “It is a daunting task to adequately describe an individual whose achievements, enthusiasm and commitment have done so much for the Oxford Community Foundation. This person humbles us. Awe, admiration, respect, and gratitude are emotions that immediately come to mind when we watch and listen to J.K. Bhattacharjee.
“While many of us find it difficult to ask others, especially friends, for contributions, such a task was for JK an aspiration. He did not, however, ask individuals to just ‘make a contribution.’ Rather, he encouraged them to invest in the mission of the Oxford Community Foundation. He was never just a Foundation representative; he was the Foundation’s Ambassador at Large.
“He moved all of us who are involved with the Foundation. He found inspiration in the history of the Foundation, often referring to its founding principles as motivation for future initiatives. He is now a significant part of that history.”
Jnanendra Bhattacharjee will be remembered in Oxford, Miami University, and the Tri-State region for his energy and enthusiasm for science, for his devotion to enhancing education at all levels, for his dynamic leadership in the community he called home for the last 46 years, and for his generosity and commitment to his family, his friends and his colleagues.
The members of this memorial tribute committee feel honored to have known and served with JKB.
Respectfully submitted by Muriel L. Blaisdell, Jerome Conley, Richard C. Garrad, Thomas G. Gregg, Steven D. Irvin, Gary R. Janssen, Anne Morris-Hooke, Rama Rao Pappu, James G. Robinson, John R. Stevenson, and David B. Stroupe.
University News Service - Miami mourns loss of J.K. Bhattacharjee
Jnanendra K. (J.K.) Bhattacharjee, professor emeritus of microbiology at Miami University, died Tuesday, Oct. 7, in Oxford. He was 78. Bhattacharjee, whose support for science teachers was as fervent as his research and contributions to his field, enabled tens of thousands of high school students to clone DNA in school labs in the 1990's and 2000's. He retired from Miami in 2005.
The native of Bangladesh began teaching at Miami in 1968. During 37 years of teaching and research, Bhattacharjee earned numerous grants from the National Science Foundation and other research agencies and also earned two significant patents. In 1999 he received those patents for having discovered a simplified and inexpensive way to detect Candida albicans, a fungus that is potentially lethal to people with weakened immune systems. In his letter nominating Bhattacharjee for the 1983 Sigma Xi Outstanding Research Contribution Award which he won, former microbiology chair Donald Cox wrote of Bhattacharjee’s “monumental efforts” to bring prestigious research conferences to Miami. From 1992-2002, with grants cumulatively nearing $1 million, Bhattacharjee ran summer workshops for high school teachers — mostly from Ohio, but from as far away as Florida — showing them how to clone and to teach cloning of DNA, providing them with a stipend and sending them back to their schools with about $1,000 worth of equipment. Teachers loved him. “The students just love him,” then-chair of microbiology Ann Morris-Hooke told a student reporter 14 years ago, “The students in his class are just crazy about him.”
“We have lost a great teacher, scientist, colleague and friend who deeply cared about teaching and education at all levels,” said Luis Actis, current chair of microbiology. “One of our former graduate students wrote yesterday: ‘I am fortunate to have known this dynamic man. My favorite memory: At the end of every single seminar, him raising his hands and saying that he had two questions! And they were almost always thought provoking and insightful.’”
Considered a pioneer in yeast genetics research, in 1982 he led scientific symposia in France and Japan. His lab generally included doctoral, master’s and undergraduate students. His research led to more than 40 publications in books and journals. In recent years he wrote or co-authored op-eds for local newspapers, educating the public on topics of stem cell research, evolution, DNA sequencing and the overuse of antibiotics.
“Dr. B.,” as many knew him, was also civically active. In 2005 he was awarded the Lavatus Powell Community Builder Award for his service to Miami and Oxford. The honor goes to a person who is committed to the ideals of inclusion, community, diversity and service. Bhattacharjee had mentored numerous minority students over the years and at Miami was a member or officer on the President’s Council on Multicultural Affairs, President’s Task Force on Human Relations, University Senate, Graduate Council and many other committees. He also helped families on move-in day.
He was president of the Oxford Kiwanis Service Club, was president of the Oxford Community Foundation, served the Gandhi Family House for Homeless Mothers and coordinated the Gandhi food drive for the Freestore Foodbank in Cincinnati. He has also been active with the Talawanda gifted children’s program, Chicago-based Bangladesh Relief for Refugees, Talawanda Key Club, middle school Builders Club, Indian community in Cincinnati and other organizations. He has received the Kiwanis Hixon Award for outstanding service, Outstanding Circle K. Advisor of Ohio, the Mayor's proclamation and Oxford's Citizen of the Year, among other awards. He and his wife were honorary chairs for this year’s Oxford United Way campaign.
He had been a member of the Genetics Society of America, American Society for Microbiology, American Association for the Advancement of Science and Sigma Xi. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Bangladesh and his doctorate at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.
Bhattacharjee is survived by his wife of 45 years, Tripti; his son Gourab of San Diego, Calif.; and his daughter Mala of Brooklyn, N.Y.
Visitation is scheduled 4-7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10, at Ogle & Paul R. Young Funeral Home, Oxford. Hindu services (open to all) will be 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11 at Gwen Mooney Funeral Home, 4521 Spring Grove Ave., Cincinnati. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in J.K.'s memory to the Jnanendra & Tripti Bhattacharjee Fund at the Oxford Community Foundation. This fund provides financial support towards the education of needy children living in the Talawanda School District. Donations can be sent to the Oxford Community Foundation, 22 E. High St., Oxford, OH 45056 or online at oxfordfdn.org.
Robert J. Brady
Professor Emeritus of Microbiology
April 13, 1927 - July 1, 1997
A MEMORIAL TO ROBERT J. BRADY
Robert J. Brady passed away on July 1, 1997 after a prolonged, and truly courageous, battle with cancer. Bob will be remembered at Miami University for his many contributions as an internationally honored teacher of microbiology, as a devoted advisor to the students of this University, as a researcher who truly enjoyed being "at the bench," as a thoughtful and conscientious contributor to University governance and activities at all levels, and a s a department chair who led his department during both the development of the young doctoral program and a substantial increase in the numbers of majors entering the microbiology and medical technology undergraduate programs.
It was clear to all who knew him that Bob's devotion to and love of his family were the most treasured aspects of his life. He is survived by his wife, Dorothy, to whom he was married for 42 years. His sons, Brian and Tom, and his daughters, Kathleen and Bridgette, whose presence in his life brought him such joy and whose accomplishments he updated for his friends on a regular basis, completed the immediate Brady family. The arrival of his grandchildren in recent years was a source of wonder and pride. He was the quintessential grandfather. There is no doubt that this strong and loving family relationship provided Bob with the great strength, courage and good humor he displayed to his friends during those difficult final years.
Bob joined the Miami University faculty in 1957 and from that moment one cannot think of Bob Brady without remembering him in the classroom and the teaching laboratory. His lectures were quiet and thoughtful, yet always filled with subtle humor (He would often begin class with: "It's another beautiful day in Oxford!" or when describing a particularly infectious organism, he would occasionally underline its virulent nature by pointing out that…"this one will plant you quick!") and an exceptional sense of the historical development of his discipline. Bob taught at all levels. In service-level course for non-majors, he revealed the wonders of the invisible world of the microbes where often helpful, but frequently devastating creatures, proliferated. He taught the first course in General Microbiology for our majors where one's responsibility is to introduce the tremendous breadth of the discipline and still provide an appreciation for the changes that occur in the field on a daily basis. Bob did this with meticulous organization, awareness of current discovery and his ever present concern for the welfare of his students. His door was truly always open. Bob also taught advanced courses in Microbial Genetics and Microbial Physiology, two of the most complex and rapidly changing fields in microbiology. Bob presented the material with great rigor and set very high standards for his students. He required those students to think and integrate information. However, he always maintained the perspective that these phenomena occurred in living systems and were organized with elegant and fascinating intricacy. Students would often leave Bob's examinations mumbling, "How did he ever come up with that question?" And yet, his teaching evaluations by his students were consistently exceptional and they revered him as a teacher, a mentor and a human being. They knew how much he cared for them and how devoted he was to their success as students and future professionals in their chosen fields.
In 1981 Bob Brady was presented with the Carski Award for exceptional teaching by the American Society for Microbiology, an organization whose members number over 30,000. This award brought great honor and prestige not only to Bob Brady but also to his department and Miami University. He was, quite literally, the best microbiology teacher in the United States. His formal nomination for the award included an outpouring of affection and respect from his current and former students and his colleagues. They all spoke to those essential features of his teaching, rigor and currency and concern for every student in every class.
Constantly "at the bench," Bob made important contributions to the field of microbial genetics using yeast as his model research organism. He truly enjoyed research and was known for always thinking of a new and better way to investigate a problem. In recognition of his many contributions, Bob was elected President of the Ohio Branch of the American Society for Microbiology because his peers knew Bob was committed to enhancing scientific advancement, communication and camaraderie among microbiologists in this state and region. He was particularly encouraging to graduate students' always enthusiastically promoting their participation in local and national scientific meetings. Bob's love of both research and teaching allowed him to mentor many graduate students with both rigor and compassion.
Bob's devotion to the department and his innate leadership qualities often appeared during departmental meetings where he sat quietly through lengthy rhetoric and discussion after which he would calmly offer a solution to the problem that made us wonder why the problem was so complex in the first place. Bob also had an exceptional sense of the history of the department which proved invaluable on many occasions. We remember Bob for his sensitive and astute advising of hundreds of microbiology majors and we marveled at his being able to accomplish this and still meticulously prepare for his classes.
Bob was also devoted to his community. He served for five years on the Oxford City Council and was always an unselfish volunteer in working for the betterment of this community.
Bob's was a life devoted to family, friends, teaching and science. We at Miami miss him deeply as a colleague and friend.
Hara D. Charlier
Donald C. Cox, Chair
John R. Stevenson
University News Service
Dr. Robert J. Brady, 70, professor of microbiology emeritus at Miami University, died of cancer July 1, at his Oxford home. Born in Detroit April 13, 1927, he was the son of James and Grace Austin Brady. He received bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Detroit and a doctorate from the University of Maryland. He married Dorothy Latchney in 1955 in Detroit. Brady was chair of Miami's microbiology department from 1972-78. He returned to full-time teaching and research, retiring in 1993. A member of Miami's faculty since 1957, he was honored in Microbiology with its Carski Foundation Distinguished Teaching Award, the highest teaching award given in microbiology in the country. Much of his time was devoted to teaching undergraduate courses in introductory microbiology, food and industrial microbiology, microbial physiology and the genetics of bacteria and their viruses. He was past president of the Ohio Branch of the American Society for Microbiology. He was appointed to Oxford City Council in 1971 and elected to a term the same year, serving for five years. Survivors are his wife, Dorothy; two sons, Tom of Chicago and Brian of Cincinnati; two daughters, Kathleen Chrisman of Kalamazoo, Mich., and Brigid of San Francisco; and four grandchildren. Mass of Christian Burial was held Monday, July 7, in St. Mary's Church, Oxford. Burial was in the Oxford Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital, the Miami University microbiology department or St. Mary's Church. Smith & Ogle Funeral Home, Oxford, was in charge of the arrangements.
Donald C. Cox
Professor Emeritus of Microbiology
March 31, 1936 - August 28, 2000
A EULOGY TO DONALD C. COX
As I thought about what to say today, I decided that I wanted to make sure that Don Cox's family knows that Don Cox was held in great esteem by many people--students, faculty, staff and administrators. On Monday afternoon, Provost Ronald Crutcher asked the members of Faculty Senate to stand for a minute of silence in memory of Don.
All of us loved Don and this has been a very sad week. As I walked across campus, people stopped to express their sorrow and grief. There was a somberness you could feel, throughout the biological sciences building, that I have never experienced before--not just in microbiology but throughout the entire building. Don's impact was far-reaching.
We'll never forget our wonderful colleague and very dear friend. We'll remember the twinkle in his eye and his warm smile that always greeted us.
During the 11 years Don Cox served as Chair, the Department of Microbiology grew in stature because of his exceptional leadership skills. He deserves the credit for building a nationally known Microbiology Department whose students are vigorously recruited by industry and graduate schools. Because of Don's foresight, the Department has continued to meet the needs of the nation in terms of appropriately trained microbiology graduates. In 1986, Don successfully obtained, for our department, one of the first Program Excellence awards from the Selective Excellence program of the State of Ohio. In 1988, he obtained an Ohio Academic Challenge award for us. He also played a key role in obtaining the first of three multimillion dollar Howard Hughes Grants for Biomedical Education, which Microbiology shares with Botany, Zoology, Chemistry and Biochemistry.
We'll remember Don as a colleague who would sit back at faculty or committee meetings and listen to others make suggestions, comments, and arguments probably biting his tongue in some instances)--and after everyone had had their say, he would often quietly speak up with the definitive answer, showing once again his wisdom and the path to the right solution.
Don was a warm, kind, gentle person with a quiet sense of humor and generosity that touched us all. He was one of the most unselfish persons I have ever known. Nine years after he had stepped down as Chair of the Department of Microbiology, I asked him to assume those responsibilities again so I could spend a semester in Luxembourg--he didn't hesitate for even a second and enthusiastically encouraged me to go. In looking back on my request, I suspect that assuming the Chair position was actually the last thing he wanted to do, but you would never have known it in his response to me. That's the kind of person Don was--he cared about the Department; he cared about the University; he had a passion for microbiology; and his colleagues' and students' ambitions and achievements seemed always to be more important than what he wanted for himself.
The fact that many undergraduate and graduate students have come long distances to be here today, speaks very clearly of how much they loved and admired him. And graduate students who did their doctoral work with other professors in the department have also come from out-of-town today to express their friendship, love and affection for Don. Graduate education was very important to him as demonstrated by his 20 years as academic advisor to all new microbiology graduate students. He also served as Director of Graduate Studies for the Department from 1989 to 1999.
Don was an outstanding research scholar. He explored the ability of specific animal viruses to modify the characteristics of tumor cells. He focused on characterizing the nature of the interaction of reovirus with tumor cells and he studied the immune response to virus-modified tumors. His work resulted in numerous professional presentations at national meetings, published journal articles and abstracts. Many of his students have positions at prestigious institutions and they have attained international recognition for their scientific contributions. Don was a Fellow of both the Oklahoma Academy of Science and the American Academy of Microbiology.
Miami University has many good teachers, but Don Cox was truly extraordinary. As chair, I really enjoyed reading his teaching evaluations. I even sat in on his lectures for a whole semester to try to figure out how he did it! He had a natural talent that I doubt anyone could duplicate. He didn't need videos, because he provided his own sound track and special effects. He loved to illustrate his points, whether they were written on an overhead or on his PowerPoint presentation, by saying "bong, bong, bong". I sat at the back of the room, completely enthralled and in awe. I could envision him telling stories to Kathy and Brian, as they were small children sitting on his lap--and I'll bet he managed to weave a lesson into each story (and also a few, bong, bong bongs!)
The comments, written by students, on his teaching evaluations, epitomize whom Don was and the impact he had on them. The students repeatedly used the following adjectives to describe him as a professor: awesome, excellent, exceptional, absolutely wonderful, incredible, a great lecturer, a great communicator, first-rate, a great story-teller, a quality college professor, one of Miami's finest, a really nice guy, and one student affectionately referred to Don as a "cool dude".
They wrote on his teaching evaluations that professors like Dr. Cox are rare. That it was a fantastic course--challenging & never dull. He captivates our attention and minds. He possesses a unique ability to relate to his students. We all love him. His own enthusiasm about the material makes it fun and interesting to come to class and study the material. I have to learn the material, if only to know why exactly he loves it so much. I will always remember him fondly. I wish I could have had him for every class at Miami. He provokes a stimulating learning environment. He displays an equality between himself and his students. The next three statements are from the same student: your teaching never ceases to amaze me...you are definitely the best professor I have ever had at Miami...what a great way to end my undergraduate career! Others wrote: His attitude toward students is amazing! It was great to have a professor who can teach and relay information even though they are very smart...he should be a contestant on Who Wants to be a Millionaire!! He really has a gift of being able to explain huge, intimidating concepts in a clear, understandable and fun fashion. His enthusiasm and his cute personifications of microorganisms made this class my favorite. Even when I did poorly on the 1st exam, I felt really motivated by him to keep plugging away. Dr. Cox's historical emphasis is unique and really showed me the need to appreciate past discovery processes. His background stories and experiences put a lot of the required material in a better perspective. His knowledge of the researchers involved in virology made them come alive and we were able to follow their trains of thought as they discovered things. I enjoyed the personal anecdotes he shares about many of the researchers in the field of virology. I will always remember him when I think back on my years at Miami.
AREN'T THOSE WONDERFUL COMMENTS? They were taken from the evaluations of his classes in general microbiology--a class of 110-120 students, the other was his class in virology for about 60 students.
His exceptional talents as a teacher have been recognized by his being named a College of Arts and Science distinguished educator; he received the Miami University Alumni Enrichment Award, and also the University of Oklahoma Regents Award for Superior Teaching.
Don was a very special friend, one whom I will miss terribly including our lunches in the 1809 room when we always checked out the dessert tower on the way in to see if they had cherry pie ala mode or coconut cream pie (when he was dieting, I wasn't suppose to tell Nancy).
In many different ways, Don has been a mentor to us all. You seldom walked by without seeing someone in his office chatting with him--either a faculty member, including those from other departments, or one or more students. We all asked him for advice. He and Nancy entertained the students and faculty in their home many times while he was Chair and, even when he was no longer Chair, as each new microbiology faculty member and spouse arrived on campus, Don and Nancy were the first to have them to their home for dinner. Don was always there for me--he was always there for all of us.
In closing I want to share a poem with you that Bill Gracie picked out for me. It's a sonnet by Shakespeare that reminds us that as we go through life, we have regrets about things not done and we weep for the loss of our friends. But those losses and regrets for what we didn't achieve are vanquished when we think of our dear friend, Don Cox, who enriched our lives so much and made such a significant difference. Shakespeare's sonnet #30:
When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes bewail my dear time's waste:
Then can I drown an eye (unused to flow)
For precious friends hid in death's endless night,
And weep afresh love's long since canceled woe,
And moan the loss of many a vanished sight:
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe count over
The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
Which I pay anew as if not paid before.
But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restored and sorrows end.
Mary E. Woodworth
August 31, 2000
The inspiration Don conveyed was truly unique among educators. He commanded the respect of others through his delivery of ideas in the most gentle and uplifting way I have ever witnessed. His perspectives on graduate education made the process exciting and very rewarding. The humor Don brought forth was both entertaining and productive in many ways. Don was one of the finest individuals I have had the pleasure to work with. We are all better off having shared time with him. I know I benefited from our collaboration and his guidance almost two decades ago, and his message still helps me grow and produce. Don could be considered by some as a class act, but that would be a gross understatement.
Steven M. Schmid
San Antonio, TX USA - Tuesday, August 14, 2001 at 16:09:04
This is a beautiful tribute to Don's memory. We sincerely thank Dr. Woodworth, Dr. Hooke, Dr. Carlin and the many caring friends, colleagues and students who have shown such an outpouring of love, support and sympathy.
Nancy, Kathy and Brian Cox
Oxford, Ohio USA - Monday, February 05, 2001 at 10:22:09
I didn't know Don as an educator, a mentor, or a chairperson. I knew him as a gentle friend who loved his dog dearly. When bringing Sarah to board, he would also bring a jar of spaghetti sauce for her dry kibble.
Oxford, OH USA - Thursday, February 01, 2001 at 20:42:45
Don is greatly missed. He was my Macintosh co-conspirator, and the void is difficult to fill.
Oxford, OH USA - Wednesday, January 31, 2001 at 08:44:30
University News Service
Donald C. Cox, 64, professor of microbiology at Miami University and former chair of the microbiology department, died at home early Monday, Aug. 28, of cancer. Recipient of Miami's Distinguished Educator Award for 1991-92, Cox was known as an enthusiastic teacher as well as a respected scientist in cancer research and human viruses. His research focused on the biochemistry and molecular biology of the replication of human viruses. Most recently, he looked at the use of human viruses as tumor therapeutic agents. His work resulted in numerous presentations and publications and was funded by the National Cancer Institute, American Cancer Society, Damon Runyon/Walter Winchell Fund for Cancer Research and Procter & Gamble. A strong advocate for attracting young students to careers in science, Professor Cox spoke frequently to schools and community groups on AIDS, cancer and viruses. He joined Miami's faculty in 1978 as chair of the department of microbiology after serving on the faculty of the University of Oklahoma since 1965. He earned a bachelor's degree from Northwestern University and a doctorate from the University of Michigan. His community involvement included serving as a past president of the Oxford Rotary Club. Cox is survived by his wife, Nancy; a son, Brian C. Cox, of Ashville, N. C.; a daughter, Kathleen A. Cox and son-in-law Scott Miller of Bridgewater, N.J.; and a brother, Robert Cox and sister-in-law Marian of Casper, Wyo. A funeral service was held Thursday, Aug. 31, at Miami's Sesquicentennial Chapel, with visitation at the chapel. Memorials may be made to the Ohio Division of the American Cancer Society, by calling 1-800-ACS-2345, or send to Park 50 Teche Center, 5400 DuPont Circle, Suite J, Milford, Ohio 45150, or the the Miami University Microbiology Department. Smith & Ogle Funeral Home, 101 W. Church St., Oxford, was in charge of arrangements.
Gary R. Janssen
Professor of Microbiology
August 30, 1951 - October 30, 2015
Dr. Gary R. Janssen lost his battle with cancer, October 30, 2015, surrounded by his family in Oxford, OH. Born August 30, 1951 to John and Emily Janssen (both deceased) in Marshall, MN. Brother to Eugene and Roger Janssen (deceased). Completed his undergraduate and doctorate in Microbiology at the University of Minnesota; followed by his postdoctoral research at the John Innes Institute in Norwich, England (1983-1986). Professor of Microbiology at Indiana University (1986-1993) and Miami University (1993-2015). Beloved husband, father, and professor whose compassion and dedication to family, students, and scientific research will be greatly missed. Survived by his wife Kathleen, son Ezra, and daughter Leah, and brother Eugene. A private memorial service is being prepared for immediate family. Memorial condolences may be posted through Ogle and Paul R. Young Funeral Home at www.oglepaulyoungfuneralhome.com. Please consider making contributions in Gary's name to Hospice of Cincinnati at www.hospiceofcincinnati.org or 513-891-7700.
Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 1983
Research in our laboratory is focused in three areas: 1) translation of leaderless mRNA in bacteria, 2) analysis of antibiotic resistance genes, and 3) regulatory effects of phosphate on primary and secondary metabolism in Streptomyces.
The majority of prokaryotic mRNAs contain an untranslated leader region, located 5' to the coding sequence, that is believed to function in the association of mRNA that naturally lack upstream leader sequences but continue to be translated. Among the questions we want to ask are the following: What are the nucleotide or structural features that determine the translational efficiency of leaderless mRNA? Do leaderless mRNAs translated by all ribosomes or by a specialized subpopulation of ribosomes? Is the translation of leaderless mRNA influenced by physiological conditions? In addition, we have demonstrated that conventionally leadered mRNA continue to be translated after removal of their upstream leader regions; efforts are under way to identify possible advantages of the leadered or unleadered state for mRNA.
In antibiotic-producing streptomycetes, the antibiotic resistance genes are physically linked to antibiotic production genes. In order to prevent suicide, expression of resistance must precede antibiotic production. We are using a molecular biological approach to the study of resistance gene regulation and the relationship between expression of resistance gene(s) and antibiotic production.
Antibiotic production and secondary metabolism in Streptomyces are regulated, in part, by the extracellular levels of phosphate. We have isolated mutants that are impaired in the normal regulation of antibiotic production by phosphate. These mutations are being mapped to the Streptomyces chromosome and a gene bank of StreptomycesDNA is being used to isolate the genes involved in phosphate regulation of primary and secondary metabolism.
- O'Donnell, S. and G.R. Janssen. 2002. Leaderless mRNAs bind 70S ribosomes more strongly than 30S subunits in Escherichia coli J. Bacteriol. 184:6730-6733.
- O'Donnell, S. and G.R. Janssen. 2001. The initiation codon affects ribosome binding and translational efficiency in Escherichia coli of cI mRNA with or without the 5' untranslated leader. J. Bacteriol. 183:1277-1283.
- Martin-Farmer, J. and G.R. Janssen. 1999. A downstream CA repeat sequence increases translation from leadered and unleadered mRNA in Escherichia coli. Mol. Microbiol. 31:1025-1038.
- VanEtten, W. and G.R. Janssen. 1998. An AUG initiation codon, not codon-anticodon complementarity, is required for the translation of unleadered mRNA in Escherichia coli. Mol. Microbiol. 27:987-1001.
- Wu, C.J., and G.R. Janssen. 1997. Expression of a streptomycete leaderless mRNA encoding chloramphenicol acetyltransferase in Escherichia coli. J. Bacteriol. 179:6824-6830.
November 2, 2015
It is with great sadness that I inform you of the death of our colleague, Dr. Gary Janssen, Professor in the Department of Microbiology. On behalf of the Miami University Community, I extend our condolences to his wife Kathleen (Kob) and their children, Leah and Ezra. The Janssen family has shared with us that there will be a small private ceremony for the family. They ask anyone who would like to honor Gary's memory to please consider making a contribution to Hospice of Cincinnati in Gary's name. The web address is: www.hospiceofcincinnati.org and the phone number is: 513‑891‑7700.
Professor Emeritus of Microbiology
August 20, 1923 - January 5, 2017
Obituary for Ivan Kochan
Dr. Ivan Kochan died on January 5th, 2017. He was 93 years old. Ivan was born on August 20, 1923 in a little Ukrainian town on the edge of the Poland/ Ukraine border called Tudorkovichy. He lived on a farm as a child with his paternal grandparents and many uncles. He attended Cholm Gymnasium, Lviv University, University of Munich Medical School and drove an ambulance for the "Rettungstelle" in Vienna during the WWII bombings of that city.
In 1948, he emigrated with his father and two brothers to Canada and in 1949 married Tatiana Sawycka. Ivan Kochan's career has spanned many institutes of higher learning. He earned his Bachelor's degree from the University of Manitoba and then received his PhD in microbiology from Stanford University in 1959. He taught at Baylor University and Wadley Research Institute in Dallas Texas from 1959-1967. From 1967 to 1989, he taught and did research at Miami University, from which he retired with the status of Professor Emeritus. He also started the microbiology department at the medical school at Wright State University in Dayton Ohio.
Ivan's passion was studying nutritional immunology and iron metabolism in the bacteria responsible for tuberculosis. He wrote and published many articles on these topics and presented his findings at many microbiological conferences in the United States and abroad. After his retirement in 1989 he wrote and published an immunology textbook in his native language Ukrainian which is still being used in universities and medical schools in Ukraine today. Said Kochan, "All right, I have taught many students in the United States, now I will teach the students in the country from which I came".
Ivan was a scientist, a naturalist, a poet and an artist. He had a great love of nature, animals and the outdoors which he shared with his family. He is survived by his wife Stella Jean Kochan and their stepfamily, Steven Asmann and wife Janis, Catherine Gotschall and husband, John and many grandchildren.
He is survived by his brother Jerry Kochan and his children Alexis and Donna Kochan of Manitoba, Canada and his brother Roman Kochan of Long Beach CA as well as his children, Roman Jr., Stephen Kochan, Natalie Kochan and Kristina Kochan. He is also survived by his daughter Christine Foster and husband Donald Joy of Nevada City, his son Dr. Andrew Kochan of Northridge California and his son Mark Kochan and wife, Gwen of Portland Oregon; as well as grandchildren Daniel Wilcox, Peter Wilcox and Larissa Wilcox of Nevada City CA, Ksenya and Dimitri Kochan of Portland Oregon and great grand daughters Teegan and Madeleine Wilcox . Ivan was predeceased by his first wife Tatiana Kochan in 1996.
Services were held at 1PM Saturday, January 21, 2017 and arrangements were under the care of Hooper and Weaver Mortuary.
Deborah Jane Phillips
August 1, 1951 - November 11, 2012
Deborah Jane (nee: Holcombe), 61, of Monroe OH, died Sunday November 11, 2012 at her home with her family by her side. Born August 1, 1951 in Newark, OH to George and Renna (nee: Prouty) Holcombe. Deborah held degrees from Ohio Northern University and Wright State University. She earned her Doctor of Education from the University of Cincinnati. Most of her adult life was spent teaching at the college level. At the time of her death she was a member of the Microbiology faculty at Miami University.
Preceded in death by her parents George and Renna Holcombe. Deborah is survived by her loving husband of 39 years, Dr. George Phillips of Monroe, three daughters, Katherine Powell (Jeremy) of Kettering, Caroline Powers (Drew) of Midland, MI and Jennifer Phillips of Columbus, and one brother David Holcombe (Jeanine) of Cincinnati.
Visitation will be held on Saturday November 17, 2012 from 5-9:00pm at Otterbein in Lebanon and memorial service will be held on Sunday November 18, 2012 at 2:00pm in the Otterbein Chapel. In lieu of flowers donations can be made in Deborah Phillips name to Otterbein Benevolent Fund (supports those who can no longer pay) or the Susan Rookwood Research Fund which is used to provide financial support to a female graduate student in the Microbiology Department at Miami University. Arrangements by the Oswald-Hoskins Funeral Home, Lebanon. Online condolences available at www.Hoskinsfh.com.
Susan W. Rockwood
Professor Emerita of Microbiology
November 26, 1924 - February 15, 1983
A MEMORIAL TO SUSAN W. ROCKWOOD
Dr. Susan Rockwood died on February 15, 1983, after a courageous five-year battle against cancer, which she fought with a ferocity typical of any of her confrontations with things threatening and unfair. She was 58 years of age. Sue was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on November 26, 1924, and spent her life in Ohio, in the Cincinnati area.
Sue's interests in the biological sciences developed early. She received her bachelor's degree from Denison University in zoology in 1946. She began her clinical career immediately after graduation as a laboratory technologist at Cincinnati General Hospital. Here Sue discovered what was to be her great and continuing interest, clinical microbiology. In 1947 Sue transferred to Cincinnati's Bethesda Hospital where, one year later, she received her certification as a Registered Medical Technologist. She remained at Bethesda Hospital until 1953. During this time her great skill and enthusiasm in the laboratory resulted in her appointment as Clinical Laboratory Supervisor. Sue always remembered, with great fondness and pride, her experiences in the hospital environment. She brought the excitement of these clinical years to the students in her classes at Miami University with her famous "Sea Stories" about the real life of clinical laboratory medicine.
In 1953 Sue was lured into the field of applied microbiological research with her appointment to the Microbiology Section of the Robert A. Taft Sanitary Engineering Center. During her three years at the Taft Center, her interest in and talent for research became obvious, and she was encouraged to begin her graduate studies in microbiology. In 1956 she entered the master's program in the Department of Bacteriology at the University of Cincinnati. She received her degree in 1958 and continued in the program for her doctorate, which she completed in 1962. During these years Sue experienced for the first time what was to become one of the great joys of her life, teaching. She served as an instructor both in the Department of Bacteriology and in the Bethesda Hospital School of Nursing.
In the Fall of 1962, Sue came to Miami University and the Department of Microbiology as an Assistant Professor. Her contributions to the department, the university and the field of medical microbiological research earned her promotions to Associate Professor in 1967 and Professor in 1973. Shortly after her arrival at Miami Sue also took on the added responsibility of directing the Medical Technology Program. Her training and experience made her eminently qualified to undertake this new task.
The Medical Technology Program (Medical Laboratory Science) at Miami University is identified with Susan Rockwood. She developed, maintained, nurtured and defended it. The recognized quality of the program was, and is, a reflection of her efforts and dedication and the unqualified excellence of her students, her "kids," whom she sent into the world of clinical laboratory medicine armed with knowledge and confidence in their technical skills. She was constantly available to advise and counsel her students and to assure their placement in programs of excellence for their internships and employment. She also enhanced the program financially by generating nearly $135,000 in external grant support for program development.
She was a teacher in the truest sense of the word. She developed, or helped to evolve, courses in pathogenic microbiology, epidemiology, medical mycology and the history of microbiology. While her style and enthusiasm made her courses entertaining and stimulating, she was uncompromising in her demands for high standards of performance from her students. She was legend in Pathogenic Microbiology, her first love, where she described microbes, the diseases they cause, their diagnosis, treatment and cure. The course was constantly sprinkled with those Rockwood "Sea Stories," her personal clinical experiences, which vividly brought home to her students the reality of human infectious diseases.
Sue was a capable and enthusiastic researcher. Her publications and the achievements of her former graduate students attest to the quality of training she provided. Her interests always centered on the development of better methods for infectious disease diagnosis, treatment and control. However, "wet bench" research in recent years seemed not to bring her the satisfaction she had enjoyed in previous years. But then, one semester three years ago while directing a young undergraduate, Sally Francis, in an independent studies project, a new and exciting world of scholarship opened to Sue Rockwood. Sue came into the possession of the personal files, correspondence, publications and photographs of Dr. Edward Francis, a pioneering microbe hunter and disease Fighter. She began to organize this seemingly endless wealth of information and she began to write. We will never forget her constant excitement and enthusiasm. She barely had time to scratch the surface. And yet, her first efforts culminated in a publication, which brought her instant international recognition. These activities led, last year, to her appointment to the prestigious National Archives Committee of the American Society for Microbiology.
Susan Rockwood as a women member of the Miami University faculty maintained a deep concern for justice and equality for women. She encouraged both students and faculty by serving as a role model. Her selection as University Woman of the Year in 1965 and Outstanding University Woman in 1974 are reflections of the deep respect with which she was held by the Miami University community. Many similar honors came to her from regional, national and international sources.
Susan Rockwood is survived by only a few members of her immediate family. However, she will always be remembered by her many colleagues, friends and students who so warmly benefited from her friendship and her professional commitment.
Donald C. Cox, Chair
Robert J. Brady
Jane L. Rees
David B. Stroupe
C. K. Williamson
Orton K. Stark
Professor Emeritus of Microbiology
September 21, 1898 - September 5, 1968
Obituary in the Newsletter of the Ohio Branch
of the American Society for Microbiology - Fall 1968
Orton Kirkwood Stark, Emeritus Professor of Microbiology and first chairman of the Department of Microbiology at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, died at his home on September 5, 1968. He is survived by his wife Mary; two children: Mrs. Virginia Ruth Sherrell of Leonia, New Jersey and Edward William of Garden City, New York and their children.
Orton was born in Cromwell, Indiana, on 21 September 1898. He worked and attended Tri-State College on an intermittent basis from 1917-1921 after which he transferred to DePauw University, receiving the A.B. degree in Botany in 1922. After three years as a graduate assistant and one year as a Graduate Fellow, Orton earned his Ph.D. in Botany at the University of Illinois. Following a year at Louisiana State Normal as Associate Professor of Biology and two years as an assistant professor at Wyoming, he came to Miami in 1929 with the charge to strengthen the bacteriological offerings in Botany. He became an associate professor in 1938 and full professor in 1944 after a year as acting head of the Botany Department. At this time, Dr. Stark was made head of the new Bacteriology section, which "for bookkeeping purposes" was in the Department of Chemistry. Here, he persevered for twelve years making slow but steady progress toward independent status which came in 1956 when the Department of Bacteriology was established under his chairmanship. Orton resigned the chair in 1962 but remained on the faculty until 1965 when he became an Emeritus Professor.
Dr. Stark was a charter fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology; a fellow of AAAS since 1926; a member of the Royal Society for Health (England); New York Academy of Science; Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine; Society of American Microbiology and president of its Ohio Branch in 1948. He was also a member of the Sigma Xi and The Phi Sigma Society. His last published research was on the mechanism of immunological paralysis of pneumococcal polysaccharides which appeared in Mechanisms of Hypersensitivity, Little, Brown and Co., 1959, as the proceedings of the International Symposium on Hypersensitivity held at the Ford Hospital, Detroit, in 1958.
Small of stature, Orton was a giant among men, a tower of strength to colleagues, an understanding and patient tutor for young colleagues and for untold hundreds of students. He was a Latin scholar, a professor in search of excellence, a man of warmth and understanding, a human who sought always to serve others, and a fading shadow anytime attention focused his way. He was a true microbiological pioneer at this old school and we shall miss him.
Dr. Stark developed and taught courses in general bacteriology, bacterial physiology, pathogenic bacteriology and immunology and serology. He directed the first M.A. thesis on Bacteriostatic and bactericidal properties of merphenyl nitrate in 1935.
Ronald W. Treick
Professor Emeritus of Microbiology
June 8, 1934 - December 16, 2005
A MEMORIAL TO RONALD W. TREICK
Dr. Ronald W. Treick was born on June 8, 1934 in Scotland, South Dakota, the son of Dr. Walter and Lena Treick. His father, a dentist, was of German descent and one of twelve brothers and sisters. During summers, Ron worked on his Uncle's farm where he learned the value of hard work and where his strong work ethic developed.
He was interested in a variety of subjects and took advanced placement courses in science and mathematics in high school. Mr. Elmer Lund, his high school chemistry teacher, was a person whom he held in the highest esteem.
At the University of South Dakota, Ron took chemistry and bacteriology and was fascinated by the wonders of microscopic organisms. He was influenced by his bacteriology professor, Dr. C.D. Cox, with whom he did a special research project. Ron's interest in microbes finally led to his becoming President of the Bacteriology Club. After earning his B.A. (56) and M.S. (57) degrees at South Dakota, Ron began his doctoral studies at Indiana University while working as a research scientist at the Upjohn Pharmaceutical Company. When he had earned his Ph.D. at Indiana University in 1965, Ron left Upjohn and joined the faculty at Miami University.
The department of Microbiology at Miami University had been seeking a candidate with a strong microbial chemistry emphasis to strengthen this area as we sought to gain accreditation as a doctoral department. Ron was the first doctoral student advisor in our joint Ph.D. program with Ohio State University. In turn, Ron was the Major Professor for many doctoral students in our own Ph.D. program and he enjoyed staying in contact with them after they graduated. He was especially proud that his graduates had entered many different professional occupations including: teaching, one as an F.B.I. agent, others in research management, pharmaceutical research, research in institutes, and various positions in industrial microbiology.
While at Miami, Ron spent a summer at the University of Illinois, Urbana in order to upgrade his research project involving modern instrumentation: ultracentrifugation and the scintillation counter and others. He also participated in a summer workshop at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, to study Radiation Biology and the safe handling of radioactive chemicals. This experience prepared him to direct the radiation safety requirements for research at Miami University.
Ron taught many courses at Miami including: experimenting with microbes, community health, applied and industrial microbiology, microbiology seminars and others. He enjoyed very much working with students, particularly in the research laboratory. His teaching commitment and style was very much influenced by his mentor, Dr. Walter Konetska, himself the recipient of Microbiology's Outstanding Teaching Award.
Ron had played basketball in high school and his interest in sports remained strong while at Miami. He was very proud of Miami's basketball and football players who did well in the NBA (Ron Harper and Wally Szczerbiak) and the NFL (Ben Roethlisberger) teams. He also followed the Indiana basketball team but never commented on Coach Bobby Knight's conduct at the games.
Ron was an avid philatelist and was an active member of the Middletown Stamp Club and in retirement, also joined the Hamilton Stamp Club. He and his wife Mina were interested in antiques and enjoyed doing research on them. They traveled to auctions on collecting trips and enjoyed this hobby.
Ron was a quiet and peaceful man and colleagues affirm that they never heard him speak a harsh word. Ron is survived by Mina his devoted wife of fifty years, twin sons, Scott of Oxford and Stephen of Safety Harbor, Florida; Mother-in-Law, Adella Wold of Scotland, South Dakota and many cousins in Scotland and throughout the United States.
Ron's students, colleagues and friends are grateful for his friendship and for his many contributions to the department, the university and to the Oxford community.
J.K. Bhattacharjee, Chair
John R. Stevenson
Hamilton Journal News
Ronald W. Treick, age 71, professor emeriti, of Oxford, passed away, Friday, December 16, 2005 at McCullough Hyde Memorial Hospital of congestive heart failure. He was born June 8, 1934 in Scotland, South Dakota, the son of Dr. Walter and Lena (Redman) Treick. Dr. Treick received his B.A. degree (1956) and M.S. degree (1957) from the University of South Dakota, and Ph.D. in Microbiology from Indiana University in 1965. He worked at Upjohn Pharmaceutical Company as a research scientist and joined Miami University as an assistant professor of Microbiology in 1965, was promoted to associate professor and retired as a full professor in 1992. He taught many undergraduate and graduate courses and mentored Ph.D. students including the first Ph.D. student in Microbiology at Miami University. He was a member of the American Society for Microbiology, Sigma Xi, the scientific research society, received research grants and published important research articles. He chaired the first university Radiation Safety Committee, Instrumentation Committee and served as the university health officer and also monitored water quality of Oxford for several years in addition to departmental committees. He was pleased that students developed opportunities for a broad range of careers, from FBI agents, to research, to management, to laboratory work and teaching positions. Stamp collecting was his hobby and he was a member of the Middletown Stamp Club and in retirement he joined the Hamilton Stamp Club. He enjoyed country auctions and traveling with his wife. Quietly he gave support to organizations and museums in his childhood state of South Dakota. He was confirmed in the German Reform Church (United Church of Christ) and had membership in the Oxford United Methodist Church. He is survived by Mina, his wife of 50 years, married December 21, 1955; twin sons, Scott of Oxford and Steven of Safety Harbor, Florida; an uncle, Gerhardt Redman of Brooking, South Dakota; an aunt Linda Bezug of Menno, South Dakota; mother-in-law, Adella Wold of Scotland, South Dakota; brothers-in-law, Gary Wold of Huron, South Dakota and Gale Wold of Springtown, Texas; niece Rhiannon Wold and nephew Timothy Wold of Grapevine, Texas; and many cousins located in South Dakota and throughout the United States. His personality extended friendship to all people. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 21, 2005 at the Smith & Ogle Funeral Home, 5086 College Corner Pike, Oxford. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service beginning at 10:00 a.m. at the funeral home. Burial will be in the Oxford Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to McCullough Hyde Memorial Hospital or the Microbiology Department of Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.
Clarence Kelly "Bud" Williamson
Professor Emeritus of Microbiology
January 19, 1924 - August 16, 2013
A MEMORIAL TO CLARENCE K. WILLIAMSON
Dr. Clarence Kelly (Bud) Williamson passed away peacefully on Friday, August 16, 2013. He spent the last few years of his long life under the loving care of his daughter Lisa Creech, son-in-law Marty Creech, and his beloved wife, Bibbi.
Bud was born on January 19, 1924 to James and Loretta Williamson in Pittsburgh, PA. He is survived by his beloved wife of nearly 62 years, Dorothy Birgit (Bibbi) Ohlsson, daughter Lisa Creech (Marty), son Erik (Judy), grandchildren Sam, Hannah, Kelly and Jack, sister Mary Sims, and nieces Lynn Williamson Behling, Teresa Williamson, and Tracy Mac. Bud was preceded in death by his brother William and nephews Guy and Mark Williamson.
Bud was graduated from McKeesport High School near Pittsburgh. Bud was a corpsman in the 3rd Marine Division in the Pacific Theater in World War II where he served proudly at Iwo Jima, Guam and Guadalcanal. He earned a “box full of medals and a bundle of letters” for his WWII service and leadership as a veteran. However, like many WWII veterans, he preferred not to speak openly with the public or family members about those recognitions.
As a returning World War II veteran he used the GI Bill to attend the University of Pittsburgh, earning his BS degree with a bacteriology major and chemistry minor in 1949, a master’s degree in bacteriology in 1951, and PhD in microbiology in 1955. He did research for his doctorate under the guidance of Professor Charles Gainor; the title of his dissertation was “Morphological and Physiological Considerations of Colonial Variants of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.” Throughout his career Bud specialized in studies of pathogenic microbiology and immunology.
Bud received inspiration for teaching and research from Dr. Gainor. He started teaching bacteriology as a graduate student (1951-1955) at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy. He was an instructor teaching bacteriology to nursing students at the Nursing School affiliated with Pennsylvania State University, and he also worked as a bacteriologist at the E.S. Magee Hospital in Pittsburgh.
Bud Williamson’s tenure at Miami University spanned 34 years from 1955 to 1989. He came to the University on a temporary one-year appointment as an assistant professor to teach several courses in the Department of Microbiology when Professor Orton K. Stark was away on sabbatical leave. This appointment eventually led to Bud becoming a full professor and Chair of the Microbiology Department; he subsequently became Dean of the College of Arts and Science (1971-1982), and then Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs (1982-1985). He returned to teaching and was appointed Professor Emeritus when he retired in 1989.
Bud’s interest and passion for teaching became evident during his one-year temporary appointment at Miami University. He made a positive impression on his students and colleagues during this year. Bud continued teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in microbiology including General Microbiology, Pathogenic Microbiology, Community Health, Epidemiology, Microbiology for Nurses, and Immunology. He was very particular about laboratory safety and the use of scientific techniques in the laboratory classes for the handling of potentially harmful bacteria long before disposable gloves, plastic Petri dishes and safety transfer hoods became available. He required graduate and upper-level undergraduate students to be immunized against pathogenic bacteria such as Salmonella paratyphi before taking Pathogenic Microbiology and Immunology laboratory classes. He emphasized the value of using laboratory animals in specialized laboratory classes and research projects, but he also made sure that the animals were properly taken care of, housed appropriately, and well fed. Beyond the classroom Bud always had time and patience for his students. He was always available to his students to help with their questions and concerns whether related to his class or not. It should be noted that when Dr. Orton K. Stark’s health declined dramatically during his last semester of teaching, Bud stepped in to take over Stark’s lectures and oversaw his laboratory classes in addition to his full load of teaching and administrative responsibilities.
From his first years at Miami University Bud established a productive research program funded by different external sources. He published several important research papers in scientific journals on the physiological variations of the pathogenic bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa and the virulent characteristics of these variants. He also investigated with his graduate students the role of streptococcal infection in glomerulonephritis in experimental animals. A representative publication with his graduate student S. Elliott is “Renal Localization of Tritiated Streptococcal Polypeptide,” Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry 14:491-494, 1966.
Bud and his students regularly presented their research results at regional and national meetings of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) and the Ohio Academy of Science. Bud was an active member and scientific contributor to both organizations until 1972 when he became Dean of the College of Arts and Science. For his research and leadership contributions Bud was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and also the Ohio Academy of Science. Bud served as a reviewer for scientific publications, established a “State laboratory” for testing village water supplies, and was a bacteriological consultant for the local hospital.
From the broader point of view and present-day perspective, Bud’s most important accomplishment as the Chair of Microbiology (1962-1972) was the establishment of a doctoral program in microbiology. He also deserves full credit for initiating the Medical Technology program (now Clinical Laboratory Science).
Dr. Phillip R. Shriver, after assuming the presidency at Miami in 1965, proposed to establish doctoral programs in selected departments in order to advance the frontier of knowledge through research, critical analysis of research results, and innovation. He also believed that doctoral programs would enrich the educational experience of the undergraduate students through close interactions with graduate students and their research mentors.
Microbiology was among the ten original departments selected for the doctoral programs. Bud was elated at the opportunity to enhance research and educational learning possibilities in microbiology. The implementation of the doctoral program was, however, more than just a simple challenge. The department, with six faculty members, had no research equipment to speak of and very few physical facilities available as research laboratories. But Bud was a man of positive vision and strong determination; he prepared a formal proposal to go through the approval process within and beyond the University.
With advice and recommendations from ASM consultants he had invited to review the Microbiology Department’s facilities and resources, Bud obtained permission from the University to add two new research-active faculty members. The Department also acquired a liquid scintillation counter, a refrigerated high-speed centrifuge, and several new binocular research microscopes. Consequently, the Department received final approval for the doctoral program and started admitting students in 1970. It was a very happy and exciting time for Bud and the Department.
In the mid-1960s, after the addition of pathogenic microbiologist Dr. Susan W. Rockwood, Bud obtained the approval of the University and the Society for Clinical Microbiology to start a new undergraduate major in Medical Technology. Dr. Rockwood became the director of the new program.
As a result of Bud’s vision and leadership during its modest beginnings in the 1960s, the Department of Microbiology currently has 275 undergraduate Microbiology and Clinical Laboratory Science majors, 25 MS/PhD students, and teaches more than 3,000 other undergraduate students in Miami Plan classes. Seventeen full-time faculty members at three campuses (Oxford, Hamilton and Middletown) offer several areas of modern molecular research and learning opportunities in microbiology to the undergraduate and graduate students. As envisioned by President Shriver and Bud years ago, undergraduate students in microbiology are now conducting original research in the laboratories of mentor professors, presenting results at regional and national microbiology meetings and publishing research papers co-authored with graduate students.
In the 1960s, the Department was located on the second and third floors of the Upham Hall north wing with a few old classrooms converted into teaching and research laboratories, a biology library, and animal research facilities. Physical facilities and research resources were not too different for the Botany and Zoology departments on the south wing and lower floors of the north wing of Upham Hall. It was because of Bud’s persuasion and leadership as the Dean of Arts and Science, President Paul Pearson approved the construction of the Biological Science Building (now Pearson Hall) with state-of-the-art teaching, research and animal research facilities for all three departments. The Microbiology Department had one secretary, an old upright typewriter and a mimeograph machine. The purchase of an IBM Selectric typewriter led to the end of “white-out” to correct typing errors and one Xerox machine in the Dean’s office for the whole college was a “godsend” technology advancement.
Bud’s human quality, care and concerns for the staff, students and faculty members are best summarized below by Mary Ann Coleman, the only departmental secretary when Bud was chair. “What I most remember about Dr. Williamson was the way he treated everyone. It did not matter if a person was a colleague or part of the custodial staff, he had a good word for all and treated us all with a genuine respect. In return, he was treated with respect. I imagine everyone felt that way. He had a real concern for students. I remember counseling sessions with students who needed some good advice and guidance. I believe these discussions were appreciated and proved beneficial to the students.” Similar expressions of Bud’s kindness and humanity were communicated to his family after his death by students, staff and faculty members from his time as professor and chair.
Bud never intended to spend a significant part of his career in academic administration. He relished his time in the classroom and laboratory and viewed administrative tasks as necessary but largely intrusive responsibilities and something to be minimized. When reflecting on the eleven years he spent as Dean of the College of Arts and Science and his three years as Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, Bud ascribed these career detours to two things he found mostly beyond his control: his outspokenness and his impatience. Indeed, few found Bud indirect or indecisive and fewer still doubted where they stood after interacting with him. Only half-jokingly, Bud claimed to be of the administrative school of “do and then ask.” But it was these very traits that were valued by his colleagues who encouraged and supported his appointment to senior administrative posts.
Bud served as Dean of the College of Arts and Science during a decade of growth and relative prosperity. He worked tirelessly to encourage and support the fledgling doctoral programs then developing in the College and in strengthening the climate for advanced graduate education. At a time when the College was hiring as many as 35 to 40 new faculty members annually, Bud personally interviewed nearly every candidate for a faculty position to be sure each understood clearly the strengthening standards for promotion and tenure he was determined to realize. This effort paralleled his years-long, incremental collaboration with department chairs to develop better metrics by which to measure faculty teaching performance, document scholarship, adopt and standardize external evaluations, ensure mentoring and establish more useful and timely performance evaluations. The success of these efforts within the College did not go unrecognized and were later incorporated in Provost-Elect Williamson’s charge as a matter for implementation in every academic division of the University.
It was during Bud's tenure as Dean that Miami replaced its Common Curriculum with the University Requirement, moved away from the quarter calendar to the early semester format, and also adopted significantly changed accounting and reporting standards. As each of these potentially onerous and contentious mandates was forwarded to the College for implementation, Bud would gather the department chairs, present the charge, promise all reasonable latitude and support, and send them off with his advice to “embrace the challenge, get on with it, and get over it.” The College seemed to survive the challenges quite well and in so doing coincidentally strengthened its advising system, better deployed its resources and fostered new curricular collaborations across departments and divisions.
To know Bud was to appreciate his self-deprecating humor, his generosity, his compassion and his humanity. As formidable as he sometimes seemed on the job, Bud was a gentle soul. Always the gentleman, he was intolerant of coarse language and rudeness of any sort. He was genuinely interested in the well-being and success of those around him and generous to a fault in responding to those seeking his assistance. Bud was also a fervent believer that those who worked together would be more effective colleagues if they had unstructured opportunities to meet together. In this spirit, he organized regular breakfast and luncheon events, rotated meetings of department chairs in family homes, held annual retreats, and continuously advanced occasions for faculty and staff to interact informally and across organizational and positional barriers. Likewise Bud used similar strategies in promoting networking and inter-institutional site visits among members of the Ohio Council of Arts and Science Deans and the nationally organized Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences, groups to which he was elected chief officer. Bud seemed to leave an indelible impression and usually a smile upon the face of all whom he met.
Midway through his first year in office, President Paul Pearson invited Dean Williamson to serve as Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost commencing in July 1982. Unfortunately, the 1982-1983 biennium proved to be one of severe fiscal contraction and Bud was almost immediately tasked with reducing and reallocating resources. Fiscal retrenchment, reorganizations and program eliminations, including closure of the McGuffey Laboratory School, dominated the Provost’s time and the University’s agenda. Following a long and contentious debate over the future of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies, difficult rounds of budget negotiations, and his privately acknowledged distaste for the isolation he felt from students and faculty in his central administrative role, Bud announced that it was past time for him to return to the classroom and laboratory duties he cherished and that had first attracted him to the University. With the Academic Affairs Division in good order and with the gratitude of his colleagues for his selfless service in their behalf, Bud resumed his duties as Professor Williamson, resolved to finish his career as it began.
Locally, Bud was a dedicated volunteer to Miami University and to the Oxford community where he worked, lived, and raised his family. He generously supported many University activities, sports (especially basketball), and academic endeavors beyond his official duties, including membership on the President Search Committee. In Oxford, he was a Charter Member and President of the Rotary Club, he volunteered at McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital in the evenings even when he was Provost at the University. He also served on the hospital’s Board of Directors. Bud was a volunteer for Meals On Wheels, Hospice, the Southwestern Ohio and Northern Kentucky Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Butler County Torch Club, the Indian Creek Pioneer Church and Burial Ground, and he was a Science Day judge for twelve years. He also took special training and served as volunteer and mentor for the Adult English Literacy Project.
Bud enjoyed summer vacations sailing at Lakeside Chautauqua Community on Lake Erie – first, his yacht named Bibbi, then the Bibbi 2 and finally the CT34 Bibbi 3 – with family, neighbors, and friends.
Bud received wide professional recognition and many awards for his outstanding leadership and service. He served on the Board of Governors of the American Institute of Biological Sciences, Board of Directors of the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences, National President of the Phi Sigma Biological Honor Society, Vice President of the Medical Science Section of the Ohio Academy of Science, Charter Member of the Miami Chapter of Sigma Xi, and member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, to name just a few. Bud was honored by Phi Kappa Phi, Beta Gamma Sigma, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Rho Chi Pharmaceutical Honor Society. He was recognized for his distinguished service to Miami University with the prestigious Benjamin Harrison Medallion.
Bud will be remembered for the love of his family and friends, loyalty and service to his country and Miami University, and a long life filled with community service and humanity. He will be missed, but his memory and many legacies will be cherished by his family and his friends. The members of this memorial tribute committee feel honored to have known and served with their colleague and friend, Bud Williamson.
David B. Stroupe
Joseph T. Urell
University News Service
Clarence Kelly "Bud" or "C.K." Williamson, 89, former provost, dean and professor of microbiology at Miami University, died Aug. 16.
Williamson joined Miami in 1955 and chaired the department of microbiology for nine years. He served as dean of the College of Arts and Science from 1971-1982 and as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs from 1982-1985. Williamson retired in 1989.
While at Miami, Williamson was awarded the Harrison Medallion in 1982. He earned several grants to research nephritis, identify bacteria and study the complex carbohydrates known as polysaccharides. He was a member of numerous honor societies, the Ohio Academy of Science and the American Academy of Microbiology
He taught at Pennsylvania State University and the University of Pittsburgh before coming to Miami. Williamson also served in the Marines during WWII.
He is survived by his wife, Bibbi; daughter, Lisa Creech (Marty); son, Eric (Judy); grandchildren and other relatives.
A celebration of life is planned at 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23, at Oxford Bible Fellowship, 800 Maple St. with visitation beginning at noon.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Miami University Scholarship Fund, 725 E. Chestnut St., Oxford, OH 45056 or to the Lakeside Association, 236 Walnut Ave., Lakeside, OH 43440. Condolences may be shared online at www.oglepaulyoungfuneralhome.com.