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History Timeline

  • 1919
    Bert Lester (Blumenthal) Vallee was born in Germany on June 1. He grew up in Luxembourg. ...more
  • 1926
    Natalie (Kuggie) Kugris was born in Girardville, PA ...more
  • 1938
    With a BSC from the University of Bern, Bert Vallee moved to the US as the first and only fellow of the International Student Service of the League of Nations. ...more
  • 1943
    Kuggie moved to Boston to attend Boston University. She earned her BS and EdM in Biology from Boston University while working as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Science Department at BU and also as a research consultant at the New Hampshire ...more
  • 1943
    Bert earned his MD from NYU College of Medicine and began work at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he became interested in the metabolism of iron and other metals such as zinc and copper. During World War II ...more
  • 1948
    Bert was awarded a National Research Council Fellowship to study emission arc spectroscopy in the world-famous spectroscopy laboratory affiliated with the physics, chemistry and biology departments of MIT. ...more
  • 1952
    Kuggie earned her EdD from Boston University and subsequently became Professor of Biology at Lesley College where she remained for 27 years. ...more
  • 1954
    Bert established the Biophysics Research Laboratory at Harvard Medical School and the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital. This laboratory became the locus of Bert’s scientific prowess. ...more
  • 1956
    Bert named Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. ...more
  • 1957
    Bert discovered the unique protein metallothionein, a low-molecular weight cysteine-rich protein. The protein binds zinc atoms very tightly and has been implicated in the homeostasis of zinc metabolism. It also binds many other metals tightly: the ...more
  • 1965
    Bert became the Paul C Cabot Professor of Biological Chemistry at Harvard Medical School. ...more
  • 1974
    Harvard and Monsanto embarked on a radical departure from conventional academic research by entering into a joint venture catalyzed by Bert and Monsanto Vice-President, Monte Throdahl. This was an academic-industrial enterprise on a large scale, ...more
  • 1980
    Bert established the Endowment for Research in Human Biology at Harvard with income from the Bronfman Foundation to fund research in alcohol metabolism. ...more
  • 1991
    Kuggie became Professor of Biology, Emeritus, at Lesley College and subsequently was appointed Lecturer on Biology in the Center for Biochemical and Biophysical Sciences and Medicine at Harvard University. ...more
  • 1992
    Hans Jornvall (Karolinska Institutet) brought his whole lab to visit Bert’s lab. ...more
  • 1996
    Bert and Kuggie established The Bert L & N Kuggie Vallee Foundation Inc to promote a collegial community of international scientists, to enhance scientific collaboration and communication, and to advance medical education and biomedical research ...more
  • 1997
    Clarence ‘Bud’ Ryan invited as the first Bert and Natalie Vallee Visiting Professor, Allen Hill and Jerrold Meinwald follow. ...more
  • 1998
    The Vallee Foundation’s first Symposium, held in Boston in May, brought together 18 scientists, both VVPs and others, to celebrate "Forty Years of Metallothionein". ...more
  • 1998
    Edmond H Fischer (University of Washington) had a “most rewarding experience” in Bert’s lab where the three main themes under investigation (metallothionein and Zn2+ metabolism; angiogenin and angiogenin and angiogenesis; and Diadzin’s involvement ...more
  • 1999
    From now on, not all VVPs came to Bert’s Lab. The Vallee Foundation began to send VVPs further afield. ...more
  • 2000
    Wade Harper (Harvard Medical School) spent a month in the lab of Dame Louise Johnson at Oxford. ...more
  • 2001
    Dame Louise Johnson, a leading molecular biologist and protein crystallographer at the University of Oxford, and Cheng-Wen Wu, who was doing pioneering work on the four-step mechanism of gene transcription at the National Yang-Ming University in ...more
  • 2002
    Fourteen Vallee Visiting Professors and members of Bert Vallee's lab met in Annecy in the spring of 2002 at the second Vallee Meeting to report on their research. ...more
  • 2002
    Kuggie retired from Harvard University. ...more
  • 2003
    Long-standing collaborations were furthered and expanded when Gerard Canters (Leiden University) spent his VVP sabbatical in Allen Hill’s lab at Oxford. “The excellent scientific reputation of the host institute; complete freedom of any bureaucratic ...more
  • 2004
    Malcolm Green (University of Oxford) was provided with a much-needed opportunity to think about his future research program during his month-long VVP sabbatical in Jeremy Knowles’ lab in the Department of Chemistry at Harvard University.   With ...more
  • 2004
    In addition to providing an opportunity for formal and informal science reports from several VVPs, the 2004 meeting, held in Boston, was devoted to two themes: “Molecular Pathology” and “Clinical Nanochemistry and Molography: A Tribute to Allen Hill ...more
  • 2005
    Hans Jörnvall (Karolinska Institutet), who had known and collaborated with Bert since the 1970s, came back to Bert’s lab for his VVP sabbatical. Image Douglas Rees (California ...more
  • 2006
    The 2006 Vallee Summer Symposium convened 15 VVPs to Endicott House in Dedham to talk about their work.  Topics included peptide signals for the innate immune response in plants (Clarence Ryan, Washington State University, VVP 1997), structural ...more
  • 2006
    Lewis Cantley, who was then at Harvard Medical School, took the closest he had come to a sabbatical experience in Louise Johnson's lab at the University of Oxford. “Being over-committed throughout my career, finding even a single month to escape to ...more
  • 2007
    Bert and Kuggie Vallee loved Montana.  Both were keen horse riders and relished the outdoors.  The wide-open spaces surrounding the 320 Guest Ranch in Big Sky provided a breathtaking contrast to the normal laboratory-based work of the Vallee ...more
  • 2008
    Jesper Haeggström (Karolinska Institutet) spent his VVP sabbatical in the lab of Charles Serhan lab at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital. “One facet of my visit that was particularly stimulating was all the informal meetings and discussions with ...more
  • 2009
    The 2009 Summer Symposium, again held in Dedham, provided an opportunity for 16 VVPs and other scholars and scientists to talk about their work as well as explore The Future for Young Scientists in Europe and the USA and Bringing Discoveries to ...more
  • 2009
    Peter Howley (Harvard Medical School) spent two weeks in Oxford thanks to Dame Louise Johnson and Allen Hill and two weeks hosted by Moshe Yaniv at the Institut Pasteur. “It turned out that Louise Johnson and I have a common interest in a cellular ...more
  • 2010
    In May, 2010, Torsten Wiesel came back to Harvard to renew contact with the Department of Neurobiology, where he had previously been a member for twenty years. “My experience as a Vallee Visiting Professor was intellectually rich and wonderful. I ...more
  • 2010
    Bert Vallee had planned that the 2010 Summer Meeting would take place in Iceland, but the location was quickly moved to Boston when it became clear that his health was deteriorating. In the end, he died just three months beforehand. He would have ...more
  • 2010
    Bert Lester Vallee died on May 7.  S James Adelstein (Paul C Cabot Distinguished Professor of Medical Biophysics, Harvard Medical School) became President of the Vallee Foundation. ...more
  • 2011
    Natalie Kugris (Kuggie) Vallee died on November 23. ...more
  • 2012
    Stephen Benkovic (Penn State) collaborated with colleagues in the Bensimon Lab at the Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris, to understand the workings of molecular machines and in particular to work with the T4 phage replisome. ...more
  • 2012
    The 2012 Summer Symposium was held in Iceland on the theme of Molecular Machines. ...more
  • 2013
    The first Vallee Lindau Fellows were appointed to attend the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting: Miri Krupkin (Weizmann Institute of Sciences) Fernanda Duarte (Uppsala University) Hui-Chung Tai (Korea Institute for Advanced Study) Zhaoyan Zhu (CalTech) ...more
  • 2013
    The first Young Investigator Awardees were appointed. Kirsty Spalding (Karolinska Institutet): Adipose tissue mass regulation in lean and obese individuals. David Tobin (Duke University): Decoding the Host Immune Response to Mycobacterial Infection ...more
  • 2013
    Naama Barkai (Weizmann Institute of Science) had three hosts in Boston during the summer: Andrew Murray at Harvard’s Center for Systems Biology in Cambridge, Aviv Regev at the Broad Institute, and Marc Kirschner in System Biology at HMS. “I didn’t ...more
  • 2014
    Four more Vallee Young Investigator Awards were given to: Sandeep Robert Datta, MD, PhD, Harvard Medical School, is working on the development and function of neural circuits. Danelle Devenport, PhD, Princeton University, is a cellular and ...more
  • 2014
    The first Bert and Natalie Vallee Award in Biomedical Science was awarded to Michael Gottesman (National Cancer Institute) at the annual meeting of the ASBMB ...more
  • 2014
    Ron Vale (University of California, San Francisco) spent a month at the Curie Institute in Paris, hosted by Genevieve Almouzni. "I chose the Curie Institut in Paris because of their excellence in the field of cell biology and because I will be ...more
  • 2014
    The 2014 Summer Symposium was held in Boston on the topic of Protein Homeostasis, Metabolism, and Cancer. ...more
  • 2014
    The second group of Vallee Lindau Fellows attended the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting: Renata Gomes (Kings College London) Alice Matimba (University of Zimbabwe) Maria Molina (Freie Universitat, Berlin) Johanna Roostalu (Cancer Research UK) ...more
  • 2015
    Six Vallee Lindau Fellows attended the 65th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting this year: Joanne Fothergill (University of Liverpool) Katie Harron PhD (University College London) Agnieska Krzyzoslak PhD (MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge) ...more
  • 2015
    Peter M Howley, PhD, Shattuck Professor of Pathological Anatomy and Professor of Microbiology and Immunobiology at Harvard Medical School, was elected President of the Vallee Foundation to replace S James Adelstein, Paul C Cabot Distinguished ...more
  • 2015
    David Eisenberg, Paul Boyer Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UCLA and an HHMI Investigator, is the second winner of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology’s Bert and Natalie Vallee Award in Biomedical Science. ...more
  • 2015
    The third round of Vallee Young Investigators was appointed: Martin Jinek (University of Zurich): Enhancing the capabilities of CRISPR-Cas9 RNA-guided genome editing. Fabiana Perocchi, Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich): Reconstruction of ...more
  • 2015
    Bonnie Bassler (Princeton University) spent her VVP sabbatical in Arturo Zychlinsky’s lab at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Berlin): “I’m home from my Vallee month. It was magical! Please tell the committee I say again thank you so ...more
  • 2015
    The 2015 Summer Meeting focused on the work being done by a handful of Vallee Young Investigators: David Tobin (Duke University Medical Center); Feng Zhang (McGovern Institute, Broad Institute, MIT); Danelle Devenport (Princeton University); Sandeep ...more
  • 2016
    Five internationally recognized leaders in biomedical research were named the 2016 Vallee Visiting Professors. Emmanuelle Charpentier, PhD, (Director, Department of Regulation in Infection Biology, Max Planck Institute of Infection Biology); David ...more
  • 2016
    The 2016 Summer Symposium is a multi-disciplinary meeting taking place in Rapallo, Italy. Showcasing work by selected Vallee Visiting Professors and Young Investigators, the meeting is divided into five main sessions: Young Investigator Talks; ...more
  • 2016
    Nine senior scientists took their Vallee Visiting Professor sabbaticals this year: Karen Vousden (Chief Scientist, Cancer Research, UK) spent a month at Weil Cornell Medicine’s Sandra and Edward Meyer Center, hosted by Lewis Cantley (VVP 2006), its ...more
  • 2016
    Bonnie Bassler (Squibb Professor of Molecular Biology, Princeton University) gave a lively talk on the molecular mechanisms that bacteria use for intercellular communication as the inaugural Kuggie Vallee Distinguished Lecture. The Lecture was given ...more
  • 2017
    Five Vallee Visiting Professors were appointed: Kay Davies, DPhil, FMedSci, FRCP (hon), FRCPath, CBE, DBE, FRS (Dr Lee’s Professor of Anatomy at the University of Oxford); F Ulrich Hartl, MD, DMed (Director of the Department of Cellular Biochemisty ...more
  • 2017
    Five early career scientists were appointed Vallee Scholars: Viviana Gradinaru, PhD, Assistant Professor, The California Institute of Technology; Shalev Itzkovitz, PhD, Senior Scientist, Weizmann Institute, Israel; Daniel Jarosz, PhD, Assistant ...more
  • 2017
    Carla Shatz (Sapp Family Provostial Professor of Biology and Neurobiology and the David Starr Jordan Director of Stanford Bio-X) spent her VVP sabbatical at Columbia University’s newly formed Zuckerman Mind Brain and Behavior Institute (ZMBBI).   ...more
  • 2017
    The 2017 Vallee Summer Meeting was devoted to the Vallee Scholars, the younger generation of basic biomedical researchers supported by the Bert L & N Kuggie Vallee Foundation.  Seven Vallee Scholars and one keynote speaker filled the day with ...more
  • 2018
    Geraldine Seydoux (Huntington Sheldon Professor in Medical Discovery and Vice Dean for Basic Research at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and HHMI Investigator) returned to her alma mater, Princeton University to give the second Kuggie ...more
  • 2018
    Elena Conti, PhD (Director of the Department of Structural Cell Biology, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Munich) and Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz, PhD (Group Leader, HHMI-Janelia Research Campus) were appointed Vallee Visiting Professors. ...more
  • 2018
    The 2018 Vallee Foundation Summer Symposium was held in Dublin June 15-18, 2018.  The Symposium, entitled “Imaging in Cell Biology and Neuroscience,”  brought together an outstanding group of speakers including a number of Vallee Visiting Professors ...more
  • 2018
    Five more Vallee Scholars are appointed: Tanmay Bharat, PhD (Group leader, Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford); Mark T Harnett, PhD (Assistant Professor, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology); ...more
  • 2018
    F Ulrich Hartl, (Director, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Martinsried) took his Vallee Visiting Professorship sabbatical at Stanford University in September/October, where he was hosted in the Department of Genetics by Dr Judith Frydman, a ...more
  • 2019
    Four new VVPs were appointed: Wolfgang Baumeister, PhD (Director & Scientific Member, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Martinsried and Honorary Professor, Technical University of Munich); Michel Goedert, MD, PhD (Program Leader, Division of ...more