Main content

John Charles Sisson Memorial Lecture

Resources

The John Charles Sisson Memorial Lecture is a venue for the Section of Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology and the Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology to honor and remember our valued colleague, John Sisson, who passed away in October 2009. The Lecture is a recurring event, bringing to campus scientists and researchers who share the passion that John had for cell biology to The University of Texas at Austin for a seminar and reception.

John C. Sisson, Ph.D.
John C. Sisson, Ph.D.

John Charles Sisson was an accomplished cell biologist, adept at bringing biochemical, genetic and cell biological methods to bear on investigations of cellular function. His graduate training was with Matthew Scott at the University of Colorado and Stanford. As a postdoctoral fellow with Bill Sullivan at the University of California at Santa Cruz, John made personal and scientific discoveries that guided the remainder of his sadly abbreviated but rich and creative life. John met his wife Ophelia Papoulas, also a scientist, with whom he would later enjoy the ongoing experiment of parenthood. Scientifically, John initiated his work on cell division in the Drosophila embryo. With a combination of elegant biochemical studies and sophisticated imaging methods he revealed the role of the Golgi apparatus for cellularization, a type of cell division in which many cells form simultaneously.

This work continued after he joined the faculty of the Section of Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology and became a member of the Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology, and eventually led him to explore the contribution of DFMR, the Drosophila homolog of the human Fragile X Mental Retardation protein, to cellularization. Most recently, John was working to define the molecular mechanism of DFMR action in the embryo. In his characteristic style, John provided compelling evidence that the protein performs mechanistically different functions in different cell types, opening up new lines of investigation for the future with important implications for human disease. John was promoted to Associate Professor in 2007. He was a valued colleague, offering constructive criticism with a smile and good humor.

John is survived by Ophelia and their son, Oliver Sisson, who was born in Austin in 2003. The John Charles Sisson Memorial Lecture serves as a lasting tribute to John Sisson and will provide a permanent resource to advance the field of cell biology. The Section of Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology and the Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology welcome contributions to this legacy endowment.

For more information, please contact the College of Natural Sciences Development Office at 512-471-3299 or via e-mail at development@cns.utexas.edu.

Share |