Regents' Proceedings 694
John Lawrence Oncley, Professor of Biological Chemistry and of
Chemistry, has retired from active faculty status as of June 30, 1980, after a
distinguished productive career as a teacher and research scientist.
A native of Illinois, Professor Oncley received his Bachelor's degree
in Chemistry from Southwestern College in Kansas. He then entered the
University of Wisconsin, receiving a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry in 1932.
He has subsequently received an honorary M.A. from Harvard University
(1946) and an honorary D.Sc. from Southwestern College (1954).
From 1932 to 1934 Professor Oncley was a National Research
Council Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, serving as
instructor from 1934 to 1935. In 1935 he went to Harvard Medical School to
become an instructor in the University Laboratory of Physical Chemistry,
being promoted to assistant professor in 1943, associate professor in 1946,
and full professor in 1950.
In 1962 Professor Oncley came to The University of Michigan to
become Director of the newly formed Biophysics Research Division of the
Institute of Science and Technology. At that time he also assumed
professsorial appointments in the Department of Biological Chemistry of the
Medical School and the Department of Chemistry of the College of
Literature, Science, and the Arts. He guided the Division through these
formative initial years, in particular being responsible for obtaining two
successive five-year training grants from the National Institutes of Health to
further the training of Ph.D.'s in biophysics. He continued as Director until
his retirement from this position in 1976.
During an active research career Professor Oncley has published over
eighty articles and chapters in books on the subjects of protein structure,
diffusion and dielectric properties of proteins, lipoprotein purification and
structure, and ultracentrifugal studies of proteins. His scientific distinction
has been acknowledged by many awards, such as the Award in Pure
Chemistry of the American Chemical Society (1942), a Guggenheim
Foundation Fellowship (1953), a Fulbright Fellowship (1953), and the
Stouffer Prize (1972). An obvious indication of his stature is his election to
the National Academy of Sciences in 1948. In addition, Professor Oncley
has had many consulting positions to federal agencies and professional
societies. He was President of the Biophysical Society from 1962 to 1963,
and Editor of the Biophysical Journal from 1963 to 1966.
The Regents now salute this distinguished scientist for his many
accomplishments and his dedicated service to the University by naming him
Professor Emeritus of Biological Chemistry and of Chemistry.