Published: June 22, 2021

MCDB Professor Emeritus Dr. Noboru Sueoka died on May 14, 2021. He was Professor in MCDB from 1971-1997. Dr. Sueoka received his BS from Kyoto University and his PhD from Cal Tech. He also held faculty positions at Princeton University and University of Illinois. He was a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 

Noboru Sueoka was an early and active contributor to studies of the genetic code and the evolution of DNA sequences. He also made widely-known contributions to our understanding of DNA replication, particularly in the bacterium B. subtilis, with a focus on the role of membranes in replication initiation. In the latter part of his career, Sueoka became interested in the differentiation of mammalian neurons and developed a system based on neuronal cancer cells to approach this complex subject. This work involved detection of new gene functions, mRNA transcription and processing, and surface proteins. Dr. Sueoka will also be remembered as an enthusiastic trout fisherman passing on his love for the sport to his students and postdocs.