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Abstract Detail

A tribute to Lawrence R. Blinks: Ions, light, and algae

Blinks, John [1].

Some recollections of my father Lawrence R. Blinks.

LAWRENCE Blinks grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan. His father was in the illuminating gas business. After high school, Lawrence attended Kalamazoo College, transferred to Stanford, and then later to Harvard. Although he was always a good student and developed interests in chemistry and biology in high school, Blinks' academic goals were not clearly defined until he caught the eye of Professor W.J.V. Osterhout as an undergraduate at Harvard. Osterhout took Blinks under his wing as a graduate student, and introduced him to contemporary methods for studying the electrical properties of plant cell membranes. When Osterhout moved from Harvard to the Rockefeller Institute, he took Blinks with him as an Assistant in Physiology, though he was still a graduate student at Harvard. He received a PH.D.in General Physiology from Harvard in 1926. He married Ann Hof, a phycologist from Harvard in 1928, and they had their son John in 1931. In 1933, in the depths of the great depression, Blinks accepted a position as Associate Professor of Plant Physiology at Stanford, where he spent the rest of his "first" career. He continued to work on the electrical properties of cell membranes using giant algal cells, but developed a parallel interest in photosynthesis starting in the 1940's. In 1943, he was appointed Director of the Hopkins Marine Station, which he remained until he retired in 1964. He started a "second" career in 1965 by participating in the organization of the Biological Sciences Department of the University of California at Santa Cruz.
He became a member of the National Academy of Sciences, spent a year as editor of Annual Reviews of Plant Physiology, and years as a contributing editor of the Journal of General Physiology. He also served as Assistant Director at the National Science Foundation.

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1 - Friday Harbor Marine Laboratory, P.O. Box 3050, Friday Harbor, Washington, 98250, USA

Algal Physiology
ion transport
Giant Algal Cells
membrane electric potentials.

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: 18-2
Location: 134/Performing Arts Center
Date: Monday, July 31st, 2006
Time: 1:05 PM
Abstract ID:83

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