This lecture is dedicated to the memory of Donald “Buzz” Wassenberg, a Master’s degree candidate at San Diego State University at the time of his death in 1986. He died of cystic fibrosis at the age of 26. Buzz was an outstanding individual, both personally and professionally. He displayed an enthusiasm about life that was not dampened by the severe medical problems he faced. His approach to science was innovative and he generated an excitement regarding new experimental ideas and results.
Buzz had completed his laboratory research in Dr. Sandy Bernstein’s laboratory and had begun writing his thesis prior to his death. SDSU awarded his Master’s degree posthumously at the spring, 1987 graduation, where Dr. Bernstein presented the completed thesis and the degree to Buzz’s parents. This research was subsequently published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. To honor his memory and to provide inspiration to his peers and colleagues, we have begun an endowment fund. This allows us to bring top investigators to SDSU to present recent advances in genetic disease research.
JOHN M. CARETHERS, M.D. is John G. Searle Professor and Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan. Dr. Carethers received both the B.S. and M.D. at Wayne State University. He completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. Subsequently he performed a fellowship in gastroenterology and postdoctoral research at the University of Michigan. Dr. Carethers served on the faculty in medicine at UCSD from 1995-2009. His research focuses on colorectal cancer, with interests in mechanisms of tumor progression, tumor genetics and markers, familial cancer and polyposis syndromes, DNA mismatch repair, molecular pathology, TGFβ superfamily signaling in cancer progression and colorectal cancer disparities. Dr. Carethers continues to have significant funding from the National Institutes of Health and has received numerous honors, including election to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. He is Senior Associate Editor for the journal Gastroenterology and serves on several scientific advisory boards. Dr. Carethers has authored over 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications.