Orten Lectureship

Dr. James M. Orten was a respected faculty member in the Department of Biochemistry from 1937 until his retirement in 1975, when he continued as Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry until his death on March 2, 1991. He was an excellent teacher and was popular among students. He was well known for his text books in biochemistry and for his research in the areas of porphyrin-heme biosynthesis, nutrition and intermediary metabolism. For his contributions, Dr. Orten was elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Nutrition. Dr. Aline U. Orten received her Ph.D. in biochemistry from Yale University in 1937 and came to the Wayne State University School of Medicine later that year as an instructor of physiological chemistry. Over the next half-century, the Ortens served as dedicated members of the Wayne State community. The James M. Orten Memorial Fund was established through the generous donations of Dr. Aline U. Orten, as well as friends of the Ortens. The fund was created to benefit graduate and postdoctoral students in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. It allows the graduate students and postdoctoral associates to invite a renowned researcher in the field of biochemistry and molecular biology to present the James M. Orten Lecture. In addition it gives them an opportunity to meet with and interact personally with an internationally renown scientist. Upon her death on February 16, 2000, the fund was renamed the Aline U. and James M. Orten Memorial Lecture to honor both Drs. Orten.

More details will be posted at a later date regarding the 2022/2023 Orten Lecture.

  • Previous Orten Lecturers


    Bruce Beutler, M.D. 
    Professor and Director, 2011 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine
    UT Southwestern Medical Center
    Using high speed forward genetics to study immunity in mice. 
    October 10th, 2018



    Michael Levin, Ph.D.
    Professor of Biology
    Vannevar Bush Chair
    Director, Allen Discovery Center at Tufts
    Tufts Center for Regenerative and Developmental Biology
    Rewriting bioelectrical pattern memories for the control of growth and form: exploiting somatic primitive cognition for regenerative medicine.


    Giulio Tononi, M.D., Ph.D.
    Professor of Psychiatry
    Distinguished Professor in Consciousness Science
    David P. White Chair in Sleep Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
    Director of the Wisconsin Institute for Sleep and Consciousness


    Eric F. Wieschaus, Ph.D., Nobel Laureate
    Squibb Professor of Molecular Biology
    Princeton University
    The mechanics of cell shape change during embryonic development.
    View images from the lecture.

    Bernhard Ø. Palsson, Ph.D.
    Galletti Professor of Bioengineering, Professor of Pediatrics
    Principal Investigator of the Systems Biology Research Group in the Department of Bioengineering
    University of California, San Diego

    Dr. Leroy Hood, M.D., Ph.D.
    President and co-founder, Institute of System Biology
    A systems approach to disease: Catalyzing emerging technologies and Proactive P4 medicine" - Predictive, Preventive, Personalized and Participatory.

    Dr. Lewis E. Kay, Ph.D.
    The University of Toronto
    Seeing the Invisible by solution NMR Spectroscopy

    Roland Lill, Ph.D.
    Institut für Zytobiologie
    Philipps-Universität Marburg
    Biogenesis of iron-sulfur proteins in eukaryotes

    Michael G. Rossman, Ph.D.
    Purdue University
    Structure and function of Dengue virus and other Flaviviruses

    Kurt Wüthrich, PhD., Nobel Laureate
    ETH, Zürich and the Scripps Research Inst.
    Structural Biology and structural genomics using NMR

    Douglas C. Reese, Ph.D.
    California Institute of Technology
    Structural studies of ABC transporters

    Brian W. Matthews, Ph.D., D.Sc.
    University of Oregon
    Tolerance and intolerance in protein structure and function

    H. Ronald Kaback, M.D
    University of California Los Angeles
    From membranes to molecules: mechanisms of active transport

    Peter C. Agre, M.D., Nobel Laureate
    The Johns Hopkins University
    Aquaporin water channel proteins: from atomic structure to clinical medicine

    Jeffrey M. Friedman, M.D., Ph.D.
    Rockefeller University
    Leptin and the endocrine control of body weight

    Sir John E. Walker, Ph.D., Nobel Laureate
    Medical Research Council
    Cambridge, England
    The rotary mechanism of ATP synthase

    Stanley Prusiner, M.D., Nobel Laureate
    University of California San Francisco
    The saga of prion diseases

    Richard Palmiter, Ph.D.
    University of Washington
    Genetics of appetite and obesity

    Richard Hanson. Ph.D.
    Case Western Reserve University
    Genetic control of the development of glucose homeostasis

    Carolyn Berdanier, Ph.D.
    University of Georgia
    Diabetes: a mitochondrial genomic defect?

    M. Daniel Lane, Ph.D.
    The Johns Hopkins University
    Transcriptional control of adiposite Differentiation

    David Kritchevsky, Ph.D.
    Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology
    Nutrition and artherosclerosis: everything counts

    Hector DeLuca, Ph.D.
    University of Wisconsin
    The molecular mechanism of action of 1,25dihydroxyvitamin D3