Journey of a Molecular Detective, Professor David Sherratt retirement symposium
Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford
This Symposium is to celebrate the remarkable scientific career of Professor David Sherratt FRS. The history of this 50 years long career began in Edinburgh as a PhD student, in the then newly formed department of Molecular Biology, where he was one of the first students after graduating in Biochemistry in Manchester. It then followed on through posts of a post doc in San Diego, California and then lecturer at the University of Sussex.
At the age of 35 professor Sherratt was appointed to the Chair of Genetics at Glasgow University, then some 15 years later the Iveagh Chair of Microbiology at Oxford University. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1992. Prof Sherratt’s outstanding research began with plasmid biology and moved seamlessly, to studies on transposable elements, then to site specific-recombination and DNA topology.
Later on the studies of XerCD-dif-FtsK system, which is involved in resolving newly replicated bacterial chromosomes, led to work on bacterial chromosome organization, replication, and segregation. This research, which spanned the fields of microbiology, genetics, cell biology, biochemistry and biophysics has constantly remained at the frontiers of biological sciences and led to development of new cutting edge technologies such as fluorescent imaging microscopy in bacteria etc. It has also encouraged frequent collaborations between his laboratory and many other outstanding laboratories in the UK, Europe and the USA.
Professor Sherratt successfully trained over sixty D.Phil. students and fifty post docs; a vast majority of whom remained in academia becoming Professors at the best Universities around the UK as well as in Europe, USA, Canada, South America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Professor Sherratt succeeded Paul Nurse as President of the Genetics Society (1994-1997) and has recently been invited to present a review article on his research in Heredity celebratory centennial issue. He also sat on numerous Committees of the MRC, EMBO, Royal Society.
The Symposium will bring together distinguished speakers-professor Sherratt’s former students, postdocs and collaborators and visitors from around the world with the current students and staff of Biochemistry Department and other Departments within the Medical Science Division in Oxford. Apart from being hopefully outstanding scientifically this event is expected to have a huge educational value showing how passion and curiosity rather than ambition can drive a formidable scientific career spanning over half of the century.