Harry Beevers/from Dr.Michael E.Loik

Nobody nobody at hgmp.mrc.ac.uk
Sun Sep 19 16:40:25 EST 2004


Dear Photosynthesis friends:

Although Harry Beevers did not directly work on "Photosynthesis", he has
been very well known to those who have worked on 'photosynthesis'. There
is also a connection between his work with that in photosynthesis,
although indirect . I have copied here what has appeared already for your
information(was sent to me by Dr. Michael E. Loik):

Prof. Harry Beevers passed away on April 14, 2004 .

The following is the campus press release from the University of
California at Santa Cruz.

=93Harry Beevers, one of the leading plant physiologists of the 20th century
and a professor emeritus of biology at the University of California, Santa
Cruz, died on April 14. He was 80. Beevers died at his home in Carmel,
California, after a brief illness. Born in Durham, England, in 1924,
Beevers earned a B.Sc. in botany and a Ph.D. in plant physiology from
Durham University. After a postdoctoral appointment at Oxford University,
he joined the faculty of Purdue University in 1950. Beevers spent 19 years
at Purdue, becoming naturalized U.S. citizen in 1958. He joined the UCSC
faculty in 1969 as a professor of biology. Beevers made major
contributions to the understanding of plant metabolism and plant cell
biology. He and his coworkers worked out important pathways of plant
metabolism and showed the locations of key enzymes for the conversion of
fats to carbohydrates in fatty seed tissues. His discovery of the
glyoxysome, a small structure or organelle within some plant cells,led
others to discover similar organelles called leaf peroxisomes, and
stimulated further understanding of the role of peroxisomes in
animals.=94Harry Beevers was one of the giants in the field of plant
metabolism, one of only a handful of biochemists who could claim to have
discovered a new cellular organelle," said Lincoln Taiz, professor of
ecology and evolutionary biology at UCSC and a friend of Beevers. "He was
also a charismatic leader in the field of plant biology whose opinions
always carried great weight in any debate. To me, he was a mentor and role
model, someone I admired tremendously," Taiz said. Much of Beevers's
research focused on the metabolism of the germinating castor bean, which
efficiently converts the oil in its seed to sugar. No mammalian cell is
capable of this conversion. In castor beans, enzymes in the glyoxysomes
convert oil into sugar to provide energy for the growing seedling during
germination, after which the organelles disappear. The glyoxysome turned
out to be the first of a new class of similar plant organelles called
microbodies. Beevers also investigated other kinds of plant organelles,
other aspects of plant metabolism, and the transport of materials within
and between plant cells. He wrote more than 200 research papers and one
book, Respiratory Metabolism in Plants (Harper, 1961).In addition to his
research, Beevers was widely appreciated as a mentor to young biologists
and a brilliant lecturer who could electrify an audience  with his
eloquence and wit. Many of his students and postdoctoral fellows went on
to become leaders in the field. He enjoyed teaching, and his courses at
UCSC received rave reviews from students. UCSC honored Beevers as the
=46aculty Research Lecturer in 1976. In 1991, a special symposium of the
American Society of Plant Biologists was held in his honor at UC
Riverside. In 1999, Purdue University recognized Beevers in  its "Book of
Great Teachers," a permanent wall display in the Purdue Memorial Union. A
member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of
Arts and Sciences, Beevers received numerous honors and awards, including
honorary doctorates from Purdue, the University of Nagoya in Japan, and
the University of Newcastle on Tyne in England. In 1995, Oxford University
named a building in his honor, the Harry Beevers Laboratory in the Plant
Sciences Department. In the early 1960s, Beevers served as president of
the American Society of Plant Physiologists. He won the organization's
Stephen Hales Prize in 1970 and its Charles Reid Barnes Life Membership
Award in 1999. Beevers is survived by his wife of 54 years, Jean Beevers
of Carmel; son Michael Beevers of Fresno; sisters Win Allinson of Ripon,
England, Edna Emerson of Weardale, England, Elsie Chapman of Portsmouth,
England, and Vera West of Canterbury, England; brothers Alec Beevers of
Stourbridge, England, and Leonard Beevers of Norman, Oklahoma; one
granddaughter,Angela; eight nieces and six nephews.  No services have been
scheduled as yet. Contributions in memory of Harry Beevers may be made to
the UCSC Arboretum, 1156 High St., Santa Cruz, CA=94



-- 
Mailing address: Govindjee, Professor Emeritus, Biochemistry, Biophysics
and Plant Biology, Department of Plant Biology, University of Illinois,
265 Morrill Hall,MC-116, 505 South Goodwin Avenue, Urbana,IL 61801-3707,
USA

Telephones: 217-337-0627 (home); 217-333-1794 (office); fax: 217-244-7246
E-mail: gov at life.uiuc.edu; URL: http://www.life.uiuc.edu/govindjee
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Part 3 of the History Issues of "Photosynthesis Research" is now
published in Volume 80(2004).
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