Joklik Distinguished Lectureship

The Joklik Distinguished Lectureship honors and commemorates the myriad contributions of Professor Wolfgang Karl (Bill) Joklik, D.Phil. (Oxford) to the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Duke, which he chaired for 25 years; to the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center, which he co-founded; and to the institution at large. Dr. Joklik (1926-2019) was a member of the AOA honor society, recipient of an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship, and recipient of the ICN International Prize in Virology. He was a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and the U.S. National Academy of Medicine. With this lectureship we honor his contributions to the broader community of microbiology and infectious disease, as well as his research achievements in virology, his founding of the American Society for Virology, and his service as editor in chief of the journal Virology, editor of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, editor in chief of Microbiological Reviews and editor and author of the widely used medical school textbook, Zinsser Microbiology.

Professor Wolfgang Karl (Bill) Joklik, D.Phil

A native of Austria and raised in Australia, much of Dr. Joklik’s research focused on understanding the reovirus and vaccinia poxvirus model systems; and much of his career in general was devoted to championing the field of molecular virology. As postdoctoral fellows with Herman Kalckar in Copenhagen, Bill Joklik, and now Nobel Laureate Paul Berg discovered, isolated and characterized nucleoside diphosphokinase, the enzyme that exchanges the gamma phosphate between nucleoside triphosphates and is now known to function in signal transduction pathways. In his own laboratory, Dr. Joklik made very early contributions to understanding the mechanisms of action of interferons–the first cytokines analyzed on the molecular level, subsequently leading to his election as an honorary member of the International Society for Interferon and Cytokine Research. His lab was the first to determine the mode of reovirus replication and to sequence the reovirus genes and proteins. Many outstanding alumni trained in Dr. Joklik’s laboratory, notably Sir John Skehel, Director (1987-2006) of the National Institute for Medical Research, London, and the late Bernard Fields M.D., Adele Lehman Professor and chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics of Harvard Medical School, a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and author of the textbook, Fields Virology.

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Dr. Joklik enjoying lunch at the Washington Duke Inn.
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From L to R: Dr. David Pickup, Dr. Jack Keene, Ms. Susan Wiley, and Dr. Bill Joklik


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Dr. Joklik, left, with world-renowned RNA biologist, Dr. Joan Steitz, middle, visiting duke from Yale and former Chair of Microbiology, Dr. Jack Keene, right.
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Dr. Joklik, right, with long-time colleague and friend Dr. Bill Anlyan, left, former Chancellor of Duke Medicine.
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Dr. Joklik and Dr. Moss chatting at the 2010 MGM Scientific Retreat.
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Dr. Joklik, left, with our first Joklik Lecturer, Dr. Bernie Moss, right.
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Dr. Micah Luftig, right, congratulating our 2011 Joklik lecturer, Dr. Karla Kirkegaard, left, Chair of Microbiology at Stanford University School of Medicine.
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Dr. Bryan Cullen, left, with former trainee and 2013 Joklik lecturer, Dr. Michaek Malim, right.
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Dr. Tim Haystead, Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, left, chatting with our 2014 Joklik lecturer, Dr. Beatrice Hahn (turquoise top), Dr. Bryan Cullen and Dr. Jack Keene (far right).
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Dr. Micah Luftig, right, congratulating Dr. Lynn Enquist, our 2015 Joklik lecturer, visiting from Princeton.
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Dr. Stacy Horner, left, chatting with Dr. Lynn Enquist in 2015.

After chairing the department for 25 years, Dr. Joklik remained an active part of the Duke community for many years as James B. Duke Professor and Chairman Emeritus of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology. Dr. Joklik died in Durham, North Carolina on July 7, 2019.

Wolfgang Karl Joklik-autobiography

Dr. Joklik’s Lifetime Achievement Award Video (produced in 2013)

Dr. Joklik’s obituary.

List of Joklik Distinguished Lectureship Speakers


Joklik First Annual LectureFirst Annual Lecture – September 25, 2010
“Poxviruses do it all in the cytoplasm”
Dr. Bernard Moss
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases







Joklkik Second Annual LectureSecond Annual Lecture – September 23, 2011
“Positive-strand RNA viruses: Dominant drug targets and novel routes of viral spread”
Karla Kirkegaard, PhD
Stanford University School of Medicine







Joklik Third Annual LectureThird Annual Lecture – September 21, 2012
“Cell entry of non-enveloped viruses”
Stephen Harrison, PhD
Harvard Medical School






Joklik Fourth Annual LectureFourth Annual Lecture – September 7, 2013 
“Exploiting replication deficiencies to illuminate HIV/host interactions”
Michael Malim, DPhil 
King’s College, London School of Medicine






Joklik Fifth Annual LectureFifth Annual Lecture, September 6, 2014
“Origins of Human AIDS and Malaria”
Beatrice Hahn, MD
University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine






Joklik Sixth Annual LectureSixth Annual Lecture, September 12, 2015
“Axons, the front line sensors of alpha herpesvirus
PNS invasion”
Lynn Enquist
Princeton University



Seventh Annual Lecture, September 10, 2016
“Innate Immunity & Human Herpesviruses”
Blossom Damania, PhD
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill


Eighth Annual Lecture, September 9, 2017
“Virus and host signaling of innate immune activiation”
Michael Gale, Jr., PhD
University of Washington


Ninth Annual Lecture, September 8, 2018
“Insights on HIV Immunity from Infants in the Nairobi Breastfeeding Trial”
Julie Overbaugh
The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center


Tenth Annual Lecture, September 7, 2019
“Musings at the Interface of Cytomegalovirus and Tumor Biology”
Thomas Shenk, PhD
Princeton University


Eleventh Annual Lecture, September 10, 2020
“Coronaviruses: Old and New”
Susan Weiss, PhD
University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine


Twelfth Annual Lecture, April 22, 2022
"Emerging Coronaviruses: Threats and Countermeasures"
Ralph S. Baric, PhD
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Thirteenth Annual Lecture, September 15th, 2022
"Molecular Genetics and Microbiology Annual Retreat Greensboro, NC"
Graham Hatfull, PhD
University of Pittsburgh