In the spring, Clarence ‘Bud’ Ryan, a leader in the field of innate immune response in plants at Washington State University, had, in his words, “the tremendous honor and privilege to be invited as the first Bert and Natalie Vallee Visiting Professor.” Bert’s lab used biochemical approaches to study human diseases and presented “an unusual opportunity to examine the broader aspects of biochemistry and biology that span both plant and animal kingdoms.”

Bud Ryan“Your concept to bring visiting professors to Harvard for a period of one month is extraordinarily creative and unique in science. It provides opportunities for all involved to enhance interdisciplinary science. By inviting scientists to your lab who have distinguished themselves in a field, an environment is generated that enhances creativity and novelty. Scientific discovery depends upon the integration and critical evaluation of ideas and data. The visiting professorship provides such an environment. It is a concept that goes far beyond the traditional visiting speaker, who is in and out in a day. It expands this interaction to several weeks, during which ideas can be nurtured and developed into scientific advancement.” (Bud Ryan, VVP 1997)

A few weeks later, Allen Hill, a pioneer in the field of protein electrochemistry at the University of Oxford, arrived in Bert’s lab for his Vallee Visiting Professorship (VVP).

Hill“Coming back to the Harvard Medical School as a Vallee Visiting Professor was a strange experience for me in the sense that, since I had been on sabbatical with Bert Vallee in 1970-71, I had visited the Laboratory at least every year. The primary difference between this and other visits was that with the freedom allowed, I had time to converse intensely with both the experienced and not-so-experienced colleagues at Harvard Medical School.”  (Allen Hill, VVP 1997)

And a third VVP, Jerrold Meinwald, came to Bert’s lab from Cornell in October.

J Meinwald“[Among other things, I used the freedom allowed me] to write first drafts of three chapters for a book; complete or nearly complete four research manuscripts; write and submit a renewal for the NIH grant which supports all my insect related research, and attend several excellent Chemistry Department lectures in Cambridge.”  (Jerrold Meinwald, VVP 1997)