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Remembering Robert (Bob) Togasaki (1932–2019): A leader in Chlamydomonas genetics and in plant biology, as well as a teacher par excellence

Abstract

Robert (Bob) K. Togasaki was devoted to science and the people in the scientific community. He elucidated some of the most fundamental aspects of photosynthesis and carbon metabolism through classic genetic approaches and later using the tools of modern biotechnology. Along the way, he freely shared his ideas and enthusiasm with established scientists, junior researchers, graduate students, and even elementary students. His career trajectory led him to work with some of the leaders in the field, including the late Martin Gibbs and R. Paul Levine. His dedicated research has led to a more complete understanding of some of the core biochemical functions relating to photosynthesis of the green alga Chlamydomonas; this has included carbon-concentrating mechanisms, hydrogenases, and superoxide dismutase to name just a few. The focus of this Tribute is personal reminiscences by his postdoctoral advisor R. Paul Levine; his collaborators Teruo Ogawa, Jean-David Rochaix, Hidehiro Sakurai, Michael Seibert; and by his students William Belknap, Susan Carlson, Charlene Forest, Arthur Grossman, Gregory Katzman, Masahiko Kitayama, and Jon Suzuki. All remember Bob Togasaki for his intellect, dedication to science education, and his unwavering goodwill and optimism towards his fellow human beings.

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Source: Charlene Forest)

Fig. 4

Source: Susan Carlson

Fig. 5
Fig. 6

Source: Arthur Grossman

Fig. 7

Source: Teruo Ogawa. Top Right: Robert Togasaki is celebrating, by sharing Champagne with Lab members (left to right: Ken Spencer, Arthur Grossman, Bob, a student from another lab, and Peggy Hudock, (Bob’s technician), when one of their papers was accepted in a top journal, undated. Source: Charlene Forest. Bottom: Left to right: G. Govindjee (one of the authors), Robert Togasaki, and Krishna Niyogi (of UC Berkeley) at a 2014 conference in Stanford, California. Source: Rajni Govindjee

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Acknowledgements

We are thankful to all those who wrote “Reminiscences” of Bob Togasaki and provided an in-depth thoughtful picture of this wonderful human being who had touched hearts of many. We give special thanks to Charlene Forest who gave us several photographs, used in this Tribute. We also thank the Department of Biology of Indiana University at Bloomington, for providing us access to information on Bob Togasaki.

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GG initiated the writing of this Tribute; SC wrote the first draft and collected the Reminiscences; GG and CB contributed to the writing and the editing of the final text.

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Correspondence to Susan J. Carlson or Govindjee Govindjee.

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Carlson, S.J., Bauer, C.E. & Govindjee, G. Remembering Robert (Bob) Togasaki (1932–2019): A leader in Chlamydomonas genetics and in plant biology, as well as a teacher par excellence. Photosynth Res 152, 73–86 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11120-021-00893-5

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Keywords

  • Carbonic anhydrase
  • Chlamydomonas genetics
  • Bionebulizer
  • Arthur Grossman
  • Martin Gibbs
  • Paul Levine
  • Stefan Surzycki