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Karin Ippen-Ihler Lectureship

Celebrating the Life of Dr. Karin Ippen-Ihler

In celebrating the Life of Dr. Karin Ippen-Ihler, a lectureship has been established.

As a scientist and as a human being Ippen-Ihler always gave of herself "full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over" and with us she shared to the fullest her special attributes - a pioneering spirit, extraordinary scholarship, a commitment to excellence, diligence and devotion to the challenges confronting her, a wonderful sense of humor and an overriding concern for others.

Ippen-Ihler was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, on March 13, 1942, the second child of Elisabeth Wagenplatz and Arthur T. Ippen, and spent her childhood in Belmont, Massachusetts. She earned a BA in chemistry from Wellesley College in 1963 and a PhD in biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 1967. It was while she was working as a graduate student with Dr. R.C. Valentine that she first developed an interest in the F-pilus of E. coli. During 1967-68, Ippen-Ihler held the Harold C. Ernst Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Harvard Medical School, where she met her future husband, Garret M. Ihler. From 1968-70, Karin Ippen-Ihler was a postdoctoral fellow, sponsored by the American Cancer Society, at Harvard Medical School and the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. It was at Harvard under Dr. J.R. Beckwith that KarinIppen-Ihler came to appreciate the great power of genetics and while studying with Dr. William Hayes at Edinburgh that she worked out an early genetic map of the F plasmid. Through the years, she became a central figure in the small, world-wide group of scientists interested in bacterial conjugation and transfer proteins.

Karin Ippen-Ihler held the position of assistant professor in the Department of Biophysics and Microbiology at the University of Pittsburgh from 1971 to 1976 and in 1977 joined the faculty of Texas A&M School of Medicine as associate professor.

She was a powerful influence in the establishment and development of our new department in a new medical school. In 1984, she was promoted to professor of Medical Microbiology and Immunology and professor in the intercollgiate Graduate Faculty of Genetics. She was appointed an editor of the Journal of Bacteriology, served on study sections for research grants and center grants; and reviewed applications for Howard Hughes and other predoctoral fellowships. In 1986 she was honored by the Texas A&M University Association of Former Students with a Faculty Distinguished Achievement Award in Research.

Ippen-Ihler Lectureship Speaker List

  • Bruce A. Roe, PhD 1998
  • Thomas M. Shinnick, PhD 1998
  • Ted Hackstadt, PhD 1998
  • June R. Scott, PhD 2001
  • Magdalene So, PhD 2002
  • Drusilla Burns, PhD 2003
  • Steven J. Norris, PhD 2003
  • Scott Hultgren, PhD 2004
  • Roy Curtiss, PhD 2007
  • William R. Jacobs, Jr. PhD 2009
  • Howard A. Shuman, PhD 2010
  • Samuel Miller, MD 2013
  • Jorge Galan, PhD, DVM 2016