Irving-Scholander Memorial Lecture Series
To provide lasting recognition of the scientific contributions of Laurence Irving and Per Scholander, the Irving-Scholander Memorial Fund supports the visit of an outstanding life scientist to the University of Alaska Fairbanks each year. The visitor presents a formal lecture and meets with faculty and students for informal discussions. The lectures and discussions are a fitting memorial to Drs. Irving and Scholander, who provided their colleagues with many stimulating ideas and seminal contributions to biological knowledge. The series began in 1981 and is sponsored by the Institute of Arctic Biology and Institute of Marine Science. It is supported by private donations to an endowment within the University of Alaska Foundation.
|Name:||Art DeVries and Chi-Hing "Christina" Cheng|
|Professor Emeritus, Department of Animal Biology; Professor, Department of Animal Biology. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne.|
|Title:||Not Your Chevy's Antifreeze - How Polar Fishes Avoid Freezing|
|Date:||Wednesday, 7 September 2016|
|Location:||Murie Life Science Bldg, Murie Auditorium.|
About the Speaker:
A native of Montana, Art DeVries received a BA in zoology with honors from the University of Montana in 1960. After spending a year at McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, performing research on Antarctic fishes he enrolled in graduate school at Stanford University and studied freezing avoidance in Antarctic fishes. He received his Ph.D. in biology at Stanford University in 1968. In the course of his Ph.D. research he discovered that freezing avoidance in Antarctic fishes resulted from the presence of blood antifreeze glycoproteins. Following a three-year National Institutes of Health post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California, Davis, he received National Science Foundation funding to continue his studies on freezing avoidance at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. During his tenure at Scripps he made six trips to McMurdo Station, Antarctica, where the role of the antifreeze glycoproteins in fish was elucidated.
In 1976 he accepted a position in the Department of Physiology at the University of Illinois, Urbana. In 1998 he became head of the Department of Animal Biology until 2000. In 2011 he retired as professor emeritus and he remains active in research and advising students.
Since 1961 he has spent over 50 seasons conducting research on the cold adaptation of Antarctic fishes with emphasis on the role of the antifreeze proteins in their freezing avoidance. He has made several trips to the Arctic region to examine freezing avoidance in the polar cods and sculpins and participated in the Danish Galathea 3 Expedition to the Antarctic Peninsula and a six-week season with Italian scientists at the Mario Zucchelli at Terra Nova Bay.
His research related to the antifreeze proteins and biology of polar fishes generated 185 publications and the story of the antifreeze proteins and freezing avoidance appears in several comparative physiology textbooks.
Among his honors and awards are: Elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1984); Evans Visiting Scholar, University of Otago, New Zealand (1985); awarded the Premio Internazionale 'Felice Ippolito' (international prize for biological excellence) by the Italian Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei and National Antarctic Programme (2005); Lifetime Achievement Award for discovery and research on antifreeze proteins in polar fishes at the 1st International Ice-Binding Protein Conference, Queens University, Ontario, Canada (2011); awarded Honorary Doctoral Degree In Natural Sciences H.C. Roskilde University, Copenhagen, Denmark (2014); and the American Physiological Society’s “August Krogh Distinguished Lectureship,” March 2015.
Chi-Hing "Chris" Cheng
Chi-Hing “Chris” Cheng is currently a professor in the Department of Animal Biology and the Program of Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where she also received her Ph.D. in molecular and integrative physiology in 1989.
Her first Antarctic deployment as a member of Dr. Arthur DeVries’ McMurdo field program in 1984 sparked her fascination of organismal survival in extreme cold, which became her lasting scientific pursuit. Her research addresses evolutionary questions of how polar fishes adapt to subzero, icy conditions – otherwise perilous for ectothermic teleosts (fishes whose body temperature fluctuates according to its surroundings) – that they thrive, diversify and bountifully populate the frigid polar seas. Cheng uses experimental, molecular, and genomic approaches to investigate two main components of polar fish evolutionary cold adaptation and specialization – the genetic source and mechanism that gave rise to the novel life-saving antifreeze proteins, and the evolutionary changes in systems-wide cellular functioning shaped by environmental selection pressures for life in chronic cold. Her work on antifreeze protein evolution in Antarctic and Arctic fishes have revealed surprising evolutionary innovations, including transforming partially or entirely non-protein coding (aka “junk”) DNA into new antifreeze protein genes of crucial survival function. Studies of evolutionary cold-crafted systems-wide cellular functional changes utilize comparisons of tissue transcriptomes to assess gene (transcript) expression differences in related non-polar and cold-adapted polar notothenioid (Antarctic icefish and sub-Antarctic) fish species, which also aim at addressing the corollary of whether cold-specialized species can re-adapt to warming ocean under climate change.
Cheng has spent about 18 field seasons conducting research at McMurdo Station and Palmer Station in the Antarctica, as well as in South America and New Zealand. She has also made several research trips to the Norwegian and West Greenland Arctic waters to sample and experiment on north polar cod species for antifreeze evolution and transcriptomics studies. Her research related to antifreeze evolution appears in comparative physiology and molecular evolution textbooks. She was elected AAAS Fellow in 2012 for contributions to the field of molecular evolution of novel genes and adaptive protein functions under environmental extremes. Her services to the polar community include serving on the National Science Foundation Polar Programs Advisory Committee (2012-2014), and on the National Academy of Science/National Research Council Committee on “Development of a Strategic Vision and Implementation Plan for the U.S. Antarctic Program” (2014-2015).
- 2016: Art DeVries and Chi-Hing "Christina" Cheng
- 2015: Mimi Koehl
- 2014: John R. Speakman
- 2014: Jane Lubchenco
- 2012: Peter J. Hudson
- 2010: Warren Porter
- 2009: Gerhard Walter Heldmaier
- 2008: Terrie M. Williams
- 2007: William R. Dawson
- 2006: James H. Brown
- 2005: N. Michele Holbrook
- 2004: Ian Hume
- 2003: George Somero
- 2001: Eberhard Gwinner
- 2000: Malcolm Gordon
- 1999: Terence Dawson
- 1998: Gerald Kooyman
- 1996: Barbara Block
- 1995: Bodil Schmidt-Nielsen
- 1994: Paul R. Ehrlich
- 1992: Ken Storey
- 1991: Jared Diamond
- 1990: Serge Daan
- 1989: Arnoldus S. Blix
- 1988: Peter Hochachka
- 1987: H. Craig Heller
- 1985: Harold T. Hammel
- 1984: Theodore H. Bullock
- 1983: Maxwell J. Dunbar
- 1982: Hermann Rahn
- 1981: Knut Schmidt-Nielsen
Support the Series
Contributions to the Irving-Scholander Memorial Fund are tax-deductible and may be made online from the IAB Giving page.