City of Hope will hold a symposium to honor a scientific giant described as one of the most creative investigators of the 20th century — and who worked for nearly 50 years on the Duarte, Calif., campus.
The late Susumu Ohno, D.V.M., Ph.D., chair of the biology division for nearly two decades and the Ben Horowitz Distinguished Scientist in Theoretical Biology, will be remembered at a symposium Feb. 1 in Cooper Auditorium on what would have been his 80th birthday.
“Emergence of the Genetic Code, Genomes and Epigenomes” will feature international lecturers — many of whom knew Ohno — speaking about how genes evolved, a lifelong interest of Ohno’s.
Colleagues also will recognize Ohno. Arthur Riggs, Ph.D., professor of biology and director emeritus of Beckman Research Institute, and Sergei Rodin, Ph.D., associate professor of biology, both worked with Ohno during his lengthy career at City of Hope, which began after he arrived from Japan in 1952 and ended with his death in 2000.
Ohno was a larger-than-life personality with a boundless intellect. Two fundamental principles of modern molecular genetics are attributable to him: first, that an entire X chromosome is inactivated in female mammals, and second, that evolution of complex organisms likely results from duplication of genes of simpler organisms.
The symposium will include a one-day exhibit, also in Cooper Auditorium, displaying artifacts from his life. Organized by Steve Novak, Ph.D., director of professional education, and City of Hope archivist Susan Yates, the exhibit will feature snapshots of Ohno and his family and his beloved horses, which were a lifelong passion, as well as samples of Ohno’s renowned writings.
Yates hopes the exhibit will illustrate the link between Ohno’s history and that of City of Hope. “I hope people make the connection between a real person and a place,” said Yates. “I want them to come away with an understanding of collaboration — of what it was like to be a scientist in ’50s, ’60s and ’70s.”
Beckman Research Institute funds the symposium and exhibit. Registration is available at www.cityofhope.org/ohnosymposium.