Sept. 16: Wriston Lecture

Annual lecture honors biochemistry professor


8:49 a.m., Sept. 4, 2013--Herbert Waite, professor in the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Development Biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, will present the annual John C. Wriston Jr. Memorial Lecture in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry on Monday, Sept. 16.

Waite will discuss “In search of a scientific foundation for implementing bio-adhesion” at 4 p.m. in Room 101 Brown Laboratory. 

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A graduate of Harvard College, Waite earned his doctorate in biochemistry from Duke University and completed postdoctoral work at the University of Copenhagen, among other institutions. He was a member of the UD faculty for 12 years before joining UCSB in 1988. He was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2009. 

The memorial lectureship was created by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in honor of John C. Wriston, who taught at UD from 1955-85.

Dr. Wriston joined the UD faculty after earning a doctorate from Columbia University and was the first biochemist in what was then the Department of Chemistry. He played a major role in the formation and growth of the biochemistry division within the department, which was later renamed the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. 

Throughout his career at UD, he taught freshman chemistry and virtually all of the core courses in biochemistry. After he retired, he continued to teach "Introductory Biochemistry" until 2003. 

Dr. Wriston conducted research in the structure and function of L-asparaginase and its use in anticancer therapy. He spent sabbatical leaves at Brookhaven National Laboratory, the Carlsburg Laboratory in Copenhagen and the National Institute for Medical Research in London. 

He was active in the American Association of University Professors and served on many important University committees. 

Dr. Wriston was active in the Friends of the Newark Free Library, and in his memory, the Newark Free Library sponsors an annual essay contest for high school juniors and seniors in the Christina School District.

He died in November 2004. 

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