Open to all: New course about groundbreaking CALS discoveries

Biochem 375, an interdisciplinary course on significant research contributions from the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, is being offered this semester and is open to the public. In this course, retired or senior professors from CALS talk about the most exciting scientific story from their own experience during the Monday lecture. During the subsequent Thursday lecture, current faculty and staff members talk about their work in extending these original discoveries. The entire series will be recorded.

This course grew out of a series of meetings with about 25 retired professors from CALS who agreed that knowledge of the history of one’s discipline deepens and enriches the educational experience of students. They were concerned about the fact that so much of the history of CALS was known only to people who were about to retire, or had already retired. Younger faculty and staff, and especially undergraduate and graduate students, knew next to nothing about genuinely important discoveries and contributions from CALS. The talks given in this course include work in at least 15 departments of CALS, the College of Medicine and Public Health and School of Veterinary Medicine, covering, animals, plants and microbes (see tentative schedule below).

The course is scheduled for 4:45 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays in room 1111 (the auditorium) in the Biotechnology Center at 425 Henry Mall. Parking is free after 4:30 p.m. in nearby lot 40.

If you have questions about the course, contact Dave Nelson at

Scheduled talks (tentative):

  • Thursday, January 25: “CALS Beginnings,” D.L. Nelson, Biochemistry
  • Monday, January 29: “Plant Breeding for Disease Resistance,” P. Williams, Plant Pathology
  • Thursday, February 1: “Genetics of Vernalization,” R. Amasino, Biochemistry
  • Monday, February 5: “Muscle Biochemistry,” R. Bremel, iOGenetics LLC
  • Thursday, February 8: “Lactation Biology,” L. Hernandez, Dairy Science
  • Monday, February 12: “Lederberg and Bacterial Genetics,” M. Susman, Genetics
  • Thursday, February 15: “Bacterial Genomics,” N. Perna, Genetics
  • Monday, February 19: “Brink and Plant Genetics,” M. Susman, Genetics
  • Thursday, February 22: “Evolutionary Genomics,” J. Doebley, Genetics
  • Monday, February 26: “Beginnings of WARF,” K. Walters, History of Science
  • Thursday, March 1: “WARF, UW and Nation,” C. Gulbrandsen, WARF
  • Monday, March 5: “Animal Viruses and Diseases,” B. Easterday, Veterinary Medicine
  • Thursday, March 8: “Johne’s Disease,” M. Collins, Pathobiological Sciences
  • Monday, March 12: “Dietary Minerals,” R. Sunde, Nutritional Sciences
  • Thursday, March 15: “Zn Metabolism in Yeast,” D. Eide, Nutritional Sciences
  • Monday, March 19: “Plant/Microbe Interactions,” S. Leong, Plant Pathology
  • Thursday, March 22: “Fungal Pathogens,” G. Gauthier, Medicine
  • Monday, April 2: TBA
  • Thursday, April 5: TBA
  • Monday, April 9: D. Maxwell, Plant Pathology
  • Thursday, April 12: M. Havey, Horticulture
  • Monday, April 16: “McCollum and Vitamin A,” D. Nelson, Biochemistry
  • Thursday, April 19: “LVM, Niacin and Pellagra,” D. Nelson, Biochemistry
  • Monday, April 23: “Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic,” S. Temple, Wildlife Ecology
  • Thursday, April 26: “Climate Change Ecology,” B. Zuckerberg, Wildlife Ecology
  • Monday, April 30: “Discovery of Warfarin,” D. Nelson, Biochemistry
  • Thursday, May 3: “Themes and Lessons in this Course,” D. Nelson, Biochemistry