Johnson/Sokatch Lectureship

The Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology is committed to its mission of providing the best possible education and training of physicians and scientist and a stimulating environment for faculty teaching and research. 

To help meet these challenges, the Department is establishing an endowed lectureship that recognizes the scholarship, dedication, and leadership of two former Chairs of the Department, B. Connor Johnson, Ph.D., and John R. "Jack" Sokatch, Ph.D.  A lectureship that provides enduring enhancement of the Department is a fitting way to honor both of these internationally acclaimed scientists, whose contributions to the growth of the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology were immeasurable.

View the history of speakers

Your tax-deductible gift to the Johnson-Sokatch Endowed Lectureship Fund will be documented and reported by the University of Oklahoma Foundation, Inc.


To make a donation: Make checks payable to the University of Oklahoma Foundation, Inc. and send to:

ATTN: Business Manager 
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
940 Stanton L Young, Rm 853
Oklahoma City, OK 73104

For Memorials in memory of Dr. Jack Sokatch or Dr. Connor Johnson, write in the memo line: Acct #50649 or "in memory of Jack Sokatch and/or Connor Johnson"









B. Connor Johnson, Ph.D.   

During a14-year tenure as Chairman that began in 1965, Dr. Johnson added 12 new faculty members to the Department and encouraged more than 100 students, fellows and colleagues to reach their full potential.  Dr. Johnson achieved international recognition for his work on the molecular mechanisms of vitamins in health, disease and aging.  He was co-discoverer of vitamin B12 and the role of vitamin K in blood clotting.  Throughout his career in science, Dr. Johnson was fascinated by the biochemical changes associated with aging.  Late in his life, he became particularly interested in the affects of caloric restriction on gene expression.  He presented his final scientific contribution on this subject at the age of 90 in 2001, a year before his death.  

John R. "Jack" Sokatch, Ph.D. 

Dr. Sokatch chaired the planning committee for design and construction of the Biomedical Sciences Building, which houses all basic science departments in the OU College of Medicine.  He became chair of the Department in 1984, and during his 8-year tenure, his leadership and creativity moved the department into a new phase of growth in its research and teaching activities.  He expanded the faculty by four, and established the first endowed chair in molecular biology.  An internationally recognized researcher in microbial enzyme biochemistry, Dr. Sokatch's research on the structure, function and regulation of the key enzymes in the metabolism of branched chain amino acids led to medical improvements in the production of antibiotics and drugs.