Hamburger Lecture

In honor of Viktor Hamburger, a pioneer in studies of brain development.

2023 Viktor Hamburger Lecture

Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado, PhD

Stowers Institute for Medical Research/HHMI

“Understanding the Sources of Regenerative
Capacities in Animals”

Monday, March 20, 2023
4:00 pM
Rebstock 215 | Danforth Campus

Reception to follow lecture

Born in a small town in Silesia, Germany, Viktor Hamburger attended the Universities of Breslau, Heidelberg, Munich and Freiburg. At the University of Freiburg, he studied with the renowned biologist, Hans Spemann, Nobel Laureate. Professor Hamburger earned his doctoral degree in zoology (experimental embryology) at the University of Freiburg in 1925. The recipient of a Rockefeller Fellowship in 1932, Professor Hamburger came to the United States to study at the University of Chicago with Dr. Frank R. Lillie.

In 1935 he joined the faculty of Washington University. Dr. Hamburger is known for his pioneering work in experimental embryology, neuroembryology and the study of programmed cell death, and his work on Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) with Rita Levi-Montalcini and Stanley Cohen. During his tenure at this Washington University, he served as Chairman of the Department of Zoology from 1941-1966. Professor Hamburger was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, as well as the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Sigma Xi and Phi Beta Kappa. Though he retired as professor emeritus in 1969, Dr. Hamburger continued his research until the mid-1980s. He passed away in 2001, just a few weeks short of his 101st birthday.

The Annual Viktor Hamburger lecture takes place each spring, and is hosted by the Department of Biology.

Hamburger Lecture archives with speakers dating back to 1979!

2022Joshua Sanes“Cell Types as Building Blocks of Neural Circuits”
2021Joshua Sanes
“Cell Types as Building Blocks of Neural Circuits”
2020Joshua Sanes (cancelled)“Cell Types as Building Blocks of Neural Circuits”
2019Michael Levine“Visualization of Transvection in Living Drosophila Embryos”
2018Eve Marder“Variability, Robustness, and Homeostasis in Neurons and Circuits”
2017Olivier Pourquie“Segmental Patterning of the Vertebrate Embryo”
2016Martyn Goulding“From Spemann’s organizer to organized circuits: developmental insights into the functional organization of the spinal cord”
2015Barbara Meyer“Creating Intimacy: Counting, Tethering, and Repressing Chromosomes during Development”
2014Chris Doe“Generation of neuronal diversity in Drosophila”
2013Joe Fetcho“A messy adult hindbrain arises via an orderly developmental ground plan”
2012Ben Barres“What Do Astrocytes Do?”
2011Pasko Rakic“Making Maps of the Mind: Molecular Mechanisms of Neuronal Migration”
2010Gerald Rubin“How Can a Molecular Geneticist Understand the Mind of a Fly?”
2009Sydney Brenner“The Architecture of Biological Complexity”
2008 Janet Rossant“Stem Cells and Early Development”
2007 Denise Duboule“Engineering Chromosomes to Study Vertebrate Development and Evolution”
2006David McClay“The Impact of Signal Transduction on Gene Regulatory Networks During Early Development”
2005 Marianne Bronner-Fraser“Formation of the Vertebrate Neural Crest”
2004 Eddy De Robertis“Induction of the Vertebrate Central Nervous System”
 2003 Irving Weissman “Biology and Evolution of Stem Cells”
2002 Gerd B. Mueller“Concepts and Experiments in Evolutionary Developmental Biology”
2001Carla Shatz“Brain waves and immune genes in brain wiring”
2000 Viktor Hamburger Centenary Symposium October 20, 2000
1999 Nicole Le Douarin“A Novel View of Neurulation in Amniotes”
1998 Marc Kirschner“Conservation and Evolvability. I. The Cellular Bases; II The Developmental Bases”
1997 Walter Gehring “The Genetic Control of Eye Morphogenesis and Evolution”
1996 Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard“The Identification of Genes Controlling Development in Flies and Fishes”
1995 Thomas Jessell“Inductive Signals and the Control of Neural Cell Pattern in Vertebrates”
1994 Friedrich Bonhoeffer“On the Formation of the Topographic Neuronal Connection from Retina to Brain”
1993Lynn Landmesser“Experimental Embryology–A Tool to Dissect the Molecular Processes Underlying Development”
1992 Hans Thoenen“From NGF to a Gene Family: Old Concepts, New Perspectives”
 1991 Douglas Melton“Embryonic Induction and Axis Formation in Amphibia”
 1990John B. Gurdon“Mechanisms of Gene Activation in Early Amphibian Development”
 1989 Corey Goodman“Cell Adhesion and Cell Recognition During Neural Development”
 1988 Maxwell Cowan “The Refinement of Connections During the Development of the Nervous System”
 1987 Stanley Cohen“Epidermal Growth Factor and its Receptor”
 1985 Hampton Carson “Evolutionary Process: Galapagos Then, Hawaii Now”
 1984 Dale Purves“Recognition and Competition in the Nervous System”
1983Salome Gluecksohn-Waelsch“Regulatory Genes in Development”
1982 Howard Schneiderman“Biotechnology: Social and Scientific Implications”
1980 Paul Greengard“Intracellular Messengers in the Brain”
1979Rita Levi-Montalcini“The Nerve Growth Factor: 25 Years Later”