In this series, I am recommending to you a few life stories about real scientists. I prefer to let these scientists tell their own stories where possible. Autobiographical accounts are interesting and entertaining for both non-scientists and other scientists. My selections here mostly involve scientists I either know personally or at least know about. If further materials like this are needed, they can be obtained readily on the internet or with input from librarians at public or university libraries, science teachers, and other scientists.
In the preceding segment of this series, the life story of a world-renowned research scientist working in Astrophysics was recommended (see “Scientists Tell Us About Their Life and Work, Part 3”). Part 4 presents the activities and life of an experimental researcher who succeeded in bridging the gap between pathology and cell biology, and who today remains a very active research leader in modern cell biology.
Part 4 Recommendations: EXPERIMENTAL PATHOLOGY & CELL BIOLOGY
Prof. Marilyn G. Farquhar (1928 – present) applied her many research skills to vigorously investigating the fine structure of kidney cells during several renal diseases. These results greatly advanced understanding about the function and dysfunction of the filtration barrier during different disease states, and helped establish the now-routine use of electron microscopy of kidney biopsies for clinical diagnosis. Her subsequent productive investigations in cell biology on the Golgi bodies, intercellular junctions, intracellular sorting and trafficking, lysosomes and autophagy, protein secretion and uptake, receptor-mediated endocytosis, and, G-proteins have greatly enlarged modern understanding about the dynamics of subcellular structure and function. Prof. Farquhar’s experimental work, research publications, and teaching lectures always are characterized by their completeness, uniform high quality, and establishment of connections to other research results. She has served as the elected President of the American Society for Cell Biology (1982), and has received many honors (e.g., the E. B. Wilson Medal from the American Society for Cell Biology (1987), the Rous-Whipple Award from the American Society for Investigative Pathology (2001), and the A. N. Richards Award from the International Society of Nephrology (2003)).
My first 3 recommendations below provide recent appreciations of Prof. Farquhar for her pioneering and much admired research accomplishments in experimental renal pathology. The fourth recommendation briefly recounts the delightful story of her life as an acclaimed research scientist, based upon a very recent interview.
UCSD School of Medicine News, April 4, 2001. Marilyn Gist Farquhar wins Rous-Whipple Award. Available on the internet at: http://health.ucsd.edu/news/2001/04_04_Farquhar.html .
Kerjaschki D, 2003. Presentation of the 2003 A. N. Richards Award to Marilyn Farquhar by the International Society of Nephrology. Kidney International, 64:1941-1942. Available on the internet at:
Farquhar, M., 2003. Acceptance of the 2003 A. N. Richards Award. Kidney International, 64:1943-1944. Available on the internet at:
Sedwick, C., 2013. Marilyn Farquhar from the beginning. Journal of Cell Biology 203: 554-555. Available on the internet at: http://jcb.rupress.org/content/203/4/554.full.pdf .
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