Joklik Receives William G. Anlyan Lifetime Achievement Award
April 16, 2013
Durham, NC – The Duke Medical Alumni Association has chosen Wolfgang K. Joklik, D.Phil. to receive the William G. Anlyan, MD Lifetime Achievement Award, which will be presented during Medical Alumni Weekend, Oct. 17-20, 2013.
In more than four decades at Duke, Wolfgang Joklik played a major role in not only ushering the Department of Microbiology and Immunology into the molecular and genomic era but also in advancing the study of viruses.
Born in Vienna, Austria, Joklik immigrated to Australia with his family just prior to World War II. He went on to earn degrees at the University of Sydney and the University of Oxford. His postdoctoral training included working as a research fellow at the University of Copenhagen, where he teamed with Nobel laureate Paul Berg, PhD. Together they discovered the enzyme terminal transferase. He held his first faculty position at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, N.Y., where he was the first to examine the mechanism of action of interferon—the first cytokine to be recognized in molecular terms—in 1964.
One of the earliest molecular virologists, Joklik came to Duke in 1968. As chair of the Department of Microbiology from 1968-1992, he transformed what once was a small department made up of six faculty members into one with 33 faculty members and ranked among the top three in the nation. Joklik’s years at Duke also included cofounding the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center, the precursor of the Duke Cancer Institute. He also served on a variety of external review and administrative committees.
Much of his scientific career was devoted to the development and application of molecular virology with a focus on reovirus and vaccinia. His discoveries have become part of standard knowledge on virus diseases, having been incorporated into many textbooks.
A dedicated educator, Joklik was editor of the textbook Zinsser’s Microbiology, the most comprehensive textbook for medical students in microbiology and immunology. Many graduate students who trained in his laboratory are today leading investigators in biomedical research.
In 1982, Joklik founded the American Society for Virology, the first of its kind, and served as the society’s first president. He was editor-in-chief of Virology for 24 years and of Bacteriological Reviews for five years. He served as associate editor of the Journal of Biological Chemistry from 1974-1984.
He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1981 and the Institute of Medicine in 1982. Other honors include serving as the American Society for Microbiology Foundation Lecturer, receiving the Humboldt Prize (Senior U.S. Investigator Award), and the ICN International Prize in Virology. Duke honored Joklik’s contributions to medicine with a named professorship, the Wolfgang Joklik Professorship in Medicine. The Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology also named a distinguished lectureship in his honor, and the Duke Medical Alumni Association honored him with a Distinguished Faculty Award in 2005.
For more information about the 2013 Distinguished Alumni Awards, please visit the Duke Medical Alumni website.