James M. Slauch
Introduction of James M. Slauch writtern and presented by Liam Duffy, Class of 2010.
Do any of us really know what a macrophage is or a microbe or a superoxide dismutase? Most of us can barely pronounce them let alone define them.
Well, James M. Slauch does! Dr. Slauch is an expert in the fields of microbiology, molecular genetics, molecular biology and biochemistry.
With his roots here in Pennsylvania, he has unveiled the secrets of these fields and made vast contributions to the field of science. Today we honor Dr. Slauch, an alum of Oxford Area High School.
Dr. Slauch, currently a professor in the Department of Microbiology and the College of Medicine at the University of Illinois, Urbana, and a faculty member of the Institute for Genomic Biology, began his career at Penn State. After obtaining his B.S. from there, he obtained a Ph. D. in Molecular Biology from Princeton University. His list of publications and research work is too long to mention here but Dr. Slauch has been a pioneer in the field of molecular genetics.
Last year, Dr. Slauch led a study that “challenges decades-old assumptions about how immune cells kill bacteria.” This study disproved an age-old theory that macrophages, immune cells which engulf and poison bacteria as well as other pathogens, kill microbes by damaging DNA.
I am not able to stand here today and even begin to explain the scientific methods of Dr. Slauch’s studies or their intricacies. I am not a scientist. Dr. Slauch is perhaps the most accomplished one, however, to come out of our school system. He has co-authored more than 50 publications and received one patent.
Currently Dr. Slauch is working on research involving Salmonella. He writes about this important work as follows: “Salmonella cause 1.4 million cases of gastroenteritis and enteric fever per year in the U.S. and leads all other foodborne bacterial pathogens as a cause of death. The long-term objectives of our research are to understand the molecular mechanisms by which Salmonella circumvents the host immune system to cause disease.”
So we must conclude today that Dr. James Slauch is indeed doing important work for mankind. Would his teachers at Oxford have even imagined that one small boy who sat in their classroom one day could be making such advances in science? Perhaps not, but who knows what glimmer of light they saw in his eyes or what encouragement they gave him that led him on this path.
As a member of the human race which has depended personally on doctors and scientists like Dr. Slauch to find the right methods to preserve life and find the methods to fight disease, I am pleased to honor him with you today. Thank you Dr. Slauch for all your accomplishments and contributions.
Accepting this award on behalf of Dr. Slauch today is his brother, Oxford Police Chief John Slauch.