Herbert Memorial Lecture

The Herbert Memorial Story

vollum_edherbert_nasThe Herbert Memorial Lecture is given annually in honor of the Vollum's founding director, Edward Herbert. This event is sponsored by Cell Signaling Technology, which is directed by Michael Comb, a former Herbert graduate student. Each year, an outstanding scientist is invited to engage in discussion and fellowship with Vollum faculty and students, as well as to give an open talk to the university. Invited speakers embody the values of thorough, far-reaching, and elegant scientific investigations, for which Dr. Herbert was well known. They include Nobel Laureates Rod MacKinnon, Phillip Sharp, Erwin Neher, and Richard Axel.

The Vollum Institute has fulfilled its founders' aspirations by becoming a world-class neuroscience research institute that stands today as a testimony to his vision.

Dr. Herbert was posthumously elected to the National Academy of Sciences after his death on February 19, 1987.

Download Dr. Herbert's obituary (124 KB) written by John Adelman for the NAS.



Dr. Pietro De Camilli, 2014 Herbert Memorial LecturerPietro De Camilli received his M.D. from the University of Milano in Italy and went on to receive a postgraduate degree in medical endocrinology with Jacopo Meldolesi. He joined the Department of Medical Pharmacology at the University of Milano as assistant professor. In 1978, he moved to the United States to do postdoctoral work with Paul Greengard at Yale. De Camilli joined the Department of Cell Biology at Yale, where he is now the Eugene Higgins Professor of Cell Biology, and where he served as chairman from 1997 to 2000. He has been an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute since 1992. De Camilli is a member of the Kavli Institute for Neuroscience and the founding director of the Yale Program in Cellular Neuroscience, Neurodegeneration and Repair.

De Camilli has been elected to the National Academy of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the European Molecular Biology Organization and the Italian National Academy. He has presented a large number of honorary lectures, among them the Keith Porter Lecture. Camilli's research was honored by the Max Planck Research Prize in 1990 and the Javitz Award in 2010, and he has received the Sir Bernard Katz Award of the Biophysical Society.

Dr. De Camilli is best known for his elegant molecular, ultrastructural and biophysical studies wherein he laid the foundations of our current understanding of endocytosis. However, he also has made important contributions to other topics in membrane trafficking, most recently in his extensive studies of PIP2-dependent signaling. In addition, and in collaboration with Michele Solimena, he identified the targets of autoantibodies in three autoimmune neurologic diseases.

Learn more about Pietro De Camilli's current research at Yale University School of Medicine

Past Herbert Memorial Speakers


Phosphoinositide signaling in the control of membrane dynamics and interactions
Pietro DeCamilli, M.D.
HHMI, Yale University School of Medicine


Modulating the gain of channels, cascades, and circuits
Richard Tsien, Ph.D.
New York University Langone Medical Center


Novel neural messengers of life and death
Solomon H. Snyder, M.D.
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine


Information processing and integration of the basal ganglia
Shigetada Nakanishi, M.D., Ph.D.
Osaka Bioscience Institute


The emergence and function of spinal motor circuits
Thomas Jessell, Ph.D.
HHMI, Columbia University Medical Center


Making an Effort to Listen: Mechanical Amplification by Myosin Molecules and Ion Channels in Hair Cells of the Inner Ear
A. James Hudspeth, M.D., Ph.D.
The Rockefeller University


Watching the Brain Compute and Tracing Its Wires: New Methods to Solve Old Riddles
Winfried Denk, Ph.D.
Max-Planck Institute for Medical Research


An Rb/E2F/DP Complex and Chromatin Remodeling Antagonize a Ras Pathway during C. elegans Vulva Development
Robert Horvitz, Ph.D.
HHMI, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Oxygen Sensation: Unconventional Signaling for an Unconventional Sense
Cori Bargmann, Ph.D.
HHMI, The Rockefeller University


The Atomic Basis of Selective Ion Conduction in Potassium Channels
Rod MacKinnon, M.D.
HHMI, The Rockefeller University


RNA Splicing and RNA Interference
Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Ca2+ Signals Controlling Neurotransmitter Release and Short Term Synaptic Plasticity
Erwin Neher, Ph.D.
Max-Planck Institut für Biophysikalische Chemie


The Return of the Human Genome
Sydney Brenner, Ph.D.
Molecular Sciences Institute, Inc.


The Molecular Biology of Smell
Richard Axel, M.D.
HHMI, Columbia University


Potassium Channel Regulation
Lily Jan, Ph.D.
HHMI, University of California, San Francisco


Trimeric G Proteins: Structure and Function
Henry Bourne, M.D.
University of California, San Francisco


ARIA: A Protein that Promotes the Maturation of Synapses
Gerald D. Fischbach, M.D.
Harvard Medical School


New Aspects of Peptide Hormone Biosynthesis
Donald F. Steiner, Ph.D.
HHMI, University of Chicago


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