Honoring Wolfgang K. (Bill) Joklik

WKJ July 29, 1994.jpg

Bill Joklik was born on November 16th, 1926 in Vienna, Austria.  He spent most of his childhood and formative years in Sydney, Australia and obtained a B.S. and an M.S. from Sidney University. At Oxford University, he earned a Ph.D., where he studied yeast and bacteriophages. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Copenhagen, he returned to Australia as faculty member of the Australian National University in Canberra.  He moved to the U.S.A., joining the Albert Einstein College of Medicine for a few years before relocating to Duke University as Chair of the Department of Microbiology & Immunology in 1968. 

 In the 1980s, although viruses had been discovered nearly a century earlier, virology was still considered a sub-discipline of microbiology, along with bacteriology, mycology and parasitology.  Virologists met at general microbiology meetings but representation and scientific interactions were not optimal.  Although there had been initial discussions about forming an independent virology society since the 1960s, it was not until Bill Joklik actively pursued this possibility in 1980 to 1982 that ASV was established.  As a result, he is widely recognized as the key founder of ASV.  Bill Joklik began by gauging interest from a small group of virologists in a pivotal letter distributed on December 8, 1980, followed by a meeting of a group of 40 virologists in Chicago on June 9, 1981.  Thus, June 9, 1981 could be considered the birth date of ASV, although we usually recognize it as being a year later, since the first official annual meeting took place in Ithaca, NY on the Cornell University campus between August 1 and 4, 1982.  Bill Joklik was the interim ASV president prior to the first annual meeting and was elected as the first president at the inaugural meeting.  Bill Joklik and the first ASV Council wrote bylaws, defined membership requirements and established the general organization of the meetings with general symposia and virus-specific workshops.  Most of these initial guidelines are still in effect today. 

At the 38th annual meeting of ASV, we are honoring the outstanding efforts of Bill Joklik in founding ASV.  Planned activities that will honor Bill Joklik are listed below.  Additional historical literature about the founding of ASV can be found at https://www.asv.org/archives.

Activities honoring Wolfgang K. (Bill) Joklik

  •  Dedication of the 38th annual meeting of ASV to Wolfgang K. (Bill) Joklik: 

ASV President Andrew Pekosz will open the meeting recognizing Bill Joklik’s accomplishments at the Keynote Address named in his honor, The Wolfgang K. Joklik Keynote Address sponsored by Brammer.

Saturday, July 20, 5:30 pm, Carlson Family Stage – Northrop

  •  Information on Bill Joklik’s scientific accomplishments and founding of ASV:

Slides will be featured prior to the start of each symposium.

A poster about the life of Bill Joklik will be displayed outside the morning session symposia.

Sunday, July 21 to Wednesday, July 24, 8:30 am, Carlson Family State – Northrop

  • A reprint describing the founding of ASV will be provided with your registration materials (W.K. Joklik & S.E. Grossberg. 2006. How the American Society for Virology was founded. Virology 344:250-257)

  •  Discussion of the founding of ASV:

TWiV–This Week in Virology podcast (http://www.microbe.tv/twiv/) with Vincent Racaniello, Richard Condit, Brianne Barker and Kathy Spindler will feature guests in a lively discussion about the founding of ASV and virology in the olden days!

Monday, July 22, 12:15-1:15 pm, Graduate Minneapolis