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Professor John A. Boezi

Professor John A. Boezi was born in Binghamton, NY. He graduated from St. Bonaventure University and received his doctorate from the University of Illinois. He did post-doctoral work at the Carnegie Institution of Washington in Baltimore, MD and at the National Center for Scientific Research in France.

In 1963, he joined the faculty of the newly formed Department of Biochemistry at Michigan State and played a pivotal role in developing molecular biology as an important aspect of the Department.

One major research effort of the Boezi laboratory was the Marek's disease virus, a herpes virus that causes malignant lymphoma in susceptible chickens. He and his colleagues identified and characterized Marek's disease virus-induced DNA polymerase in productively infected cells and elucidated the mechanism of phosphonoacetate inhibition of the viral DNA polymerase. Phosphonoacetate has proved to be a specific and effective inhibitor of the replication of Marek's disease virus, herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2, Epstein-Barr virus, and human cytomegalovirus.

In 1977, Professor Boezi was honored with a Josiah Macy Foundation fellowship for a sabbatical year in the laboratory of Dr. I. Robert Lehman at Stanford University.

At Michigan State, Professor Boezi was also recognized as an excellent teacher. His dedication to teaching and his uncompromising principles of integrity and performance were respected by students and faculty colleagues. His untimely death in 1980 has inspired the establishment of an award, given annually in his memory, to a B.S., M.S., or Ph.D. recipient from this Department who has gone on to a distinguished career that reflects the qualities personified by John Boezi. The John A. Boezi Memorial Alumnus Award Awardee presents a seminar and is honored at the department's annual award's banquet in even numbered years.