Jim McGinnis Memorial Lecture

The Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology will host the Thirty-Seventh Annual Jim McGinnis Memorial Lecture on March 26, 2015. This year’s speaker is Arturo Casadevall, MD, PhD.

Arturo Casadevall, MD, PhD, is the Leo and Julia Forchheimer Professor of Microbiology & Immunology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in the Bronx, New York. He is Chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and served as Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Montefiore Medical Center at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine from 2000-2006. Dr. Casadevall received both his MD and PhD (biochemistry) degrees from New York University in New York, New York. Subsequently, he completed internship and residency in internal medicine at Bellevue Hospital in New York, New York. Later he completed subspecialty training in Infectious Diseases at the Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Casadevall’s major research interests are in fungal pathogenesis and the mechanism of antibody action. In the area of Biodefense Casadevall has an active research program to understand the mechanisms of antibody-mediated neutralization of Bacillus anthracis toxins. He has authored over 490 scientific papers. Casadevall was elected to membership in the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the American Academy of Physicians, and the American Academy of Microbiology. He was elected a fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science and has received numerous honors including the Solomon A Berson Medical Alumni Achievement Award in Basic Science from the NYU School of Medicine, the Maxwell L. Littman Award (mycology award), the Rhoda Benham Award from Medical Mycology Society of America, and the Kass Lecture of the Infectious Disease Society of America. Casadevall is the Editor- in-Chief of mBio, the first open access general journal of the American Society of Microbiology. He serves in the editorial board of the Journal of Clinical Investigation and the Journal of Experimental Medicine. He has served in numerous NIH committees including those that drafted the NIAID Strategic Plan and the Blue Ribbon Panel on Biodefense Research. Casadevall served on the NAS committee that reviewed the science behind the FBI investigation of the anthrax attacks in 2001. He is a member of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity and co-chaired the NIAID Board of Scientific counselors.

Since he joined the Einstein faculty in 1992, Casadevall has mentored dozens of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty. Many of his trainees have gone on to have highly successful careers in science and several have become AECOM faculty. From 2000-2006 Casadevall was director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at AECOM-Montefiore and oversaw the expansion of its research program. In 2001 Casadevall received the Samuel M. Rosen outstanding teacher award and in 2008 he was recognized the American Society of Microbiology with the William Hinton Award for mentoring scientists from underrepresented groups.

[Visit the Casadevall Laboratory website]


Arturo Casadevall





Arturo Casadevall, MD, PhD

Chair and Professor, Department of Microbiology & Immunology
Professor, Department of Medicine (Infectious Diseases)
Director, Center for Immunological Sciences
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
1300 Morris Park Avenue
Forchheimer Building, Room 411
Bronx, NY 10461

Seminar: Thoughts on the origin of microbial virulence
March 26, 2015
Venue: Bryan Research Building, Room 103
Reception to follow lecture


The annual McGinnis Memorial Lecture was established by the staff and students of the Departments of Microbiology and Immunology in 1979 to honor the memory of James William McGinnis, Jr.

Jim was born March 13, 1951, in Greensboro, N.C. He grew up in Cary; graduated from Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass.; received a B.S. degree in Chemistry from Stanford University in 1973; completed the first year of medical school at Duke; transferred to the Department of Microbiology and Immunology; and was a doctoral candidate here at the time of his death, March 11, 1978, in a canoeing accident. His research involved in vitro translation and RNase III processing of avian tumor virus (RSV) RNA. The Ph.D. was awarded posthumously. His postdoctoral work was to be with Dr. Fred Sanger, Cambridge, England.

Science was Jim’s first allegiance, but he relished excellence in music, sports, literature, and art. He loved philosophy, enjoyed nature, and prized friendship. Learning was exhilarating to him,
and, to this good end, the lecture is dedicated.


Since its inception, the McGinnis lecture program has brought 36 exemplary speakers to campus, including four Nobel laureates (J. Michael Bishop, David Baltimore, Phil Sharp, and Elizabeth Blackburn), and twenty-seven members of the National Academy of Sciences, including leading investigators in the areas of virology, microbial pathogenesis and physiology, molecular biology, immunology, and RNA biology.

Click here for a complete list of previous McGinnis Memorial Lecture speakers.

The Jim McGinnis Memorial Lecture is organized by a student committee in conjunction with:

Micah Luftig, PhD
Assistant Professor
424 CARL Building
Box 3504 DUMC
Durham, N.C. 27710
Tel: (919) 668-3091
Fax: (919) 684-2790
Email: micah.luftig@duke.edu