December 10, 2018

Department hosts symposium of speakers in honor of Professor Thomas Holland, Ph.D.

The Wayne State University School of Medicine's Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology hosted a reception and symposium Nov. 30 in honor of Associate Professor Thomas Holland, Ph.D., who will retire this year after more than 30 years on faculty.

The symposium, chaired by Keith Fusinski, Ph.D. and Raghavendar Thipparthi, Ph.D., brought together current and former colleagues and students of Dr. Holland, including speakers G. Sullivan Read, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Missouri at Kansas City who completed his doctoral degree at the same time as Dr. Holland at Pennsylvania State University; S. Victor Hsia, Ph.D., a professor and chair of Pharmaceutical Science at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, who was a student of Dr. Holland; Ashok Baghwat, Ph.D., a professor of Chemistry at WSU and another fellow doctorate student with Holland at Penn State; and Rozanne Sandri-Goldin, Ph.D., who worked as a postdoctoral fellow alongside Dr. Holland while at the University of Michigan and who is now a professor and chair of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at the University of California at Irvine.

"I'm very happy to be part of Tom's retirement symposium," said Dr. Sandri-Goldin, who talked about structure-function analysis of an HSV-1 multifunctional protein. She worked with Dr. Holland in the late 1970s, then left for California in the early 1980s. She continues to see him and other colleagues at the annual International Herpes Virus Workshop.

"We all see each other year after year, and it's gotten very collaborative. Sometimes we have grants together as co-principal investigators," she added. "It's nice to see how much Detroit has changed and how much this campus has grown."

Department Chair Philip Pellett, Ph.D., and Dr. Holland also gave talks at the symposium.

Dr. Holland received a doctorate in Biophysics from Pennsylvania State University in 1978. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan from 1978 to 1984 and joined the WSU School of Medicine faculty in 1984. He was promoted to associate professor in 1993. His research involves adenoviruses and obesity, as well as antiviral effects of host cytidine deaminases.

"I'm grateful to have everyone here who came from my past, especially those who go back to my graduate school days. I have a lot of people here from all phases of my career," he said.

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