Pollard Lecture set for Sept. 28

September 20, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Richard Henderson, a group leader and scientist emeritus in the Division of Structural Studies at the U.K. Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology (MRC LMB), will present the 2017-18 Ernest C. Pollard Lecture at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 28, in 100 Life Sciences Building on the Penn State University Park campus. The lecture, titled “The cryoEM Revolution in Structural Biology,” is sponsored by the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Henderson is a structural biologist with a background in physics. After earning a doctorate at MRC LMB working on enzyme mechanisms with David Blow, he developed an interest in membrane proteins and worked on voltage-gated sodium channels as a postdoctoral researcher with Gary Strichartz at Yale University. In 1973, he returned to MRC LMB where he used electron crystallography to determine the structure of bacteriorhodopsin in two-dimensional crystals, first at low resolution and later at atomic resolution. He is a leader in methodology improvements of single-particle cryoelectron microscopy (cryoEM), which now routinely produces atomic structures of a wide variety of macromolecular complexes.

Henderson is a Fellow of the Royal Society, a Foreign Associate of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and a Fellow of the Microscopy Society of America. He has received many awards, including the Wiley Prize in Biomedical Sciences from the Wiley Foundation and Rockefeller University, the Gjonnes Medal in Electron Crystallography from the International Union of Crystallography, the Kaj Linderstrom-Lang Prize and Medal from the Carlsberg Foundation, the Copley Medal from the U.K. Royal Society, and the Alexander Hollaender Award for Biophysics from the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

The Ernest C. Pollard Lecture is named in honor of the professor of physics who taught at Penn State from 1961 to 1971 and founded the Department of Biophysics. In 1979, the Department of Biophysics merged with the Department of Microbiology and Biochemistry to form the present Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

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Last Updated September 21, 2017