Jez installed as Spencer T. Olin Professor of Biology

Joseph Jez
Washington University in St. Louis hosted an installation ceremony for Joseph Jez, the Spencer T. Olin Professor of Biology in Arts & Sciences, in Holmes Lounge on April 4. (Photo: Sid Hastings/Washington University)

Joseph Jez was installed as the Spencer T. Olin Professor of Biology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis during a ceremony April 4 in Holmes Lounge.

Jez began his installation lecture, “Exploring Nature’s Machinery,” by acknowledging the work and impact of the approximately 100 people who have been members of his lab over the years.

“Every grant proposal I’ve ever gotten has landed because a student ignored my advice or made a mistake in the lab that opened up a new direction,” Jez said. “You have to be open to what comes in science.”

Jez’s current work uses a combination of structural biology, protein chemistry and plant biology. As a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) professor, he launched the Biotech Explorers Program, which introduces undergraduates to how teams in science can tackle real-world problems using cross-disciplinary approaches.

Jez has published approximately 200 papers. He also received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the Phytochemical Society of North America’s Arthur Neish Young Investigator Award, a Fulbright Senior Specialist Award, an HHMI Professors Award and is an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow.

Read more and watch a video from the ceremony on The Ampersand website.

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