Herbert Memorial Lecture

The Herbert Memorial story

The 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 (125 KB) written by John Adelman for the National Academy of Sciences.

Ed Herbert with an architect's model of the Vollum Institute

2024 Herbert Memorial Lecture

March 21, 2024: 12pm–1pm

Paola Arlotta, Ph.D.: "Human brain chimeroids as avatars to study interindividual variation in response to disease risk"
Golub Family and Harvard Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology
Chair of HSCRB, Neuroscience Program Co-Leader
Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology
Harvard Medical School

Hosted by: Marc Freeman, Ph.D., Director and Senior Scientist, Vollum Institute

Past Herbert Memorial speakers

How Nature and Nurture Conspire to Regulate Brain Development and Plasticity
Michael Greenberg, Ph.D.
Nathan Marsh Pusey Professor of Neurobiology, Department of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School

2020–2022: The Herbert Memorial Lecture was on hiatus during the Covid pandemic.

Primary cilia: What do they do, how do they work?
David Clapham, M.D., Ph.D.
HHMI Janelia Research Campus, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School

Re-writing the language of life: Impacts and challenges of DNA editing
Jennifer Doudna, Ph.D.
HHMI, University of California, Berkeley

Illuminating biology at the nanoscale with single-molecule and super-resolution imaging
Xiaowei Zhuang, Ph.D.
HHMI, Harvard University

TRP channels of the pain pathway: Connecting physiology to atomic structure
David Julius, Ph.D.
University of California, San Francisco

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