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Memoir

Hiroshi Ikuma
Regents' Proceedings 345

Hiroshi Ikuma, Ph.D., professor of biology in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, retired from active faculty status on May 31, 2000.

Professor Ikuma received his B.Sc. degree from Kobe University, Kobe, Japan, in 1956 and his A.M. and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University in 1958 and 1962, respectively. From 1962-65, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. He joined the faculty of the University of Michigan as an assistant professor in 1965. He was promoted to associate professor in 1969 and professor in 1975.

At Harvard, Professor Ikuma worked with Kenneth V. Thimann, a pioneer in the development of modern developmental plant physiology, carrying out groundbreaking studies on the effects of light, other environmental factors, and plant hormones on lettuce seed germination. Working with Walter Bonner at the University of Pennsylvania, he was among the first investigators to describe the properties of carefully isolated plant mitochondria. At the University of Michigan, Professor Ikuma's research has emphasized discovery and characterization of factors that regulate plant growth and development. He continued his pioneering work on the properties of plant mitochondria, focusing on energy coupling reactions and on the metabolism of organic acids in the organelle. He also initiated new research programs that have revealed new roles of light, temperature, and hormones in regulation of the complex series of metabolic events that culminate in seed germination.

Within the Department of Biology, Professor Ikuma has played a leading role in teaching. He developed new laboratory exercises for introductory courses and for the department's flagship plant physiology offering, which he also taught with distinction for a number of years. Likewise, his contributions to the department's one-term, accelerated introductory course made this a very popular first-year offering for entering undergraduates with prior course work in biology. He served as associate chair for undergraduate curriculum from 1983-87.

The Regents salute this distinguished scholar by naming Hiroshi Ikuma professor emeritus of biology.