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Distinguished Lectureships

Roger L. McMacken Jr. Lecture and Award

A crisply focused black and white photo of a man sitting in a suit and tie, smiling, leaning slightly to the left

Roger L. McMacken Jr., PhD, was an expert on DNA replication whose research revealed fundamentally important details about the molecular mechanisms involved in initiating DNA replication, and a leader devoted to mentoring and training new scientists.

Roger joined the School’s Department of Biochemistry faculty in 1976 and was the E.V. McCollum Professor and Chair from 1990 to 2008. Roger’s visionary leadership in expanding and strengthening departmental expertise in molecular and cell biology, an area that included his own work on the bacteriophage lambda, a virus that infects the E. coli bacterium, led to renaming the Department Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2000.

In 2018, the Roger McMacken Scholarship Fund was established by former students and trainees in recognition of his commitment to graduate education. In 2021, to celebrate and continue his legacy, the McMacken family, the Department, and others who Roger impacted, established the Roger L. McMacken, Jr. Lectureship and Award, which supports an annual lecture and an award to an early career BMB researcher studying viral or prokaryotic DNA replication or a related area.

The Inaugural Roger L. McMacken Jr. Lecture

The inaugural Roger L. McMacken Jr. Lecture was held December 9, 2022, and began with a celebration of Roger’s legacy, including remarks from McMacken lab alumni, presentations by the 2022 Roger McMacken Scholarship recipients, and remarks by Roger's family. The 2022 McMacken Lecturer was James Berger, Professor of Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry and Director of the Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Watch the whole event below, or follow the links to skip to a specific section.

Photos by Mollye Miller Photography

Kojo Mensa-Wilmot, Kim Lange, Asia Wildeman, Rob Jordan

McMacken lab alumni Kojo Mensa-Wilmot, PhD '88 (left) and Rob Jordan, PhD '93, stand with recent McMacken scholars, 2021 Scholar Kim Lange and 2022 Scholar Asia Wildeman.

Four women stand together smiling: Melissa McMacken, Michelle McMacken, and Marisol Renner, and their mother Maria McMacken

Roger McMacken's wife, Maria (far right) and their daughters (left to right) Melissa McMacken, Michelle McMacken, and Marisol Renner, joined the BMB Department for the inaugural McMacken Lecture.


Support the Roger L. McMacken Jr. Lectureship and Award

To join us today in supporting Roger’s legacy by making a contribution to the Roger L. McMacken Jr. Lectureship and Award, visit the School’s secure Giving Form, select “Other” from the Gift Designation menu and enter “McMacken Lectureship and Award.” Please contact Reggie Jackson,, in the Office of External Affairs with any questions.