James N. Cather, PhD

Title: Professor Emeritus
Company: University of Michigan
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States

James N. Cather, PhD, Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Scientists and Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in embryology and higher education.

Spending time outdoors as a child, Dr. Cather became interested in various bugs and insects, particularly their developmental stages. Deciding to study embryology as a result of his childhood experiences, he attended Southern Methodist University and earned a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in embryology in 1954 and 1955, respectively. Soon thereafter, he earned a Doctor of Philosophy in radiation effects on cell division from Emory University in 1958. After obtaining his doctorate degree, Dr. Cather served as an instructor at the University of Michigan from 1958 to 1960 and assistant professor of biological sciences from 1960 to 1965. Subsequently, he became an associate professor in 1965, holding the role for eight years, before ascending the ranks to full professor. He served in this capacity for the following 22 years until attaining emeritus status in 1996.

During his tenure at the University of Michigan, Dr. Cather served in a plethora of other roles. The former associate chairman of the Division on Biological Sciences from 1976 to 1981, he also acted as the associate dean of the College of Literature, Science and the Arts from 1982 to 1988. In addition, he was the director of the Office of International Programs for a decade between 1982 and 1992. Alongside his primary endeavors, Dr. Cather was a visiting professor at the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology in 1969 and 1974, having also served the Bermuda Biological Station and the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA, as a member of staff of the embryology course. Prior to commencing his career, he was in active duty with the United States Marine Corps and Marine Corps Reserves between 1948 and 1958.

To remain abreast of changes within his industry, Dr. Cather maintained affiliation with several organizations, including the International Society of Developmental Biologists, the Society for Developmental Biology, the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, and the Malacological Society of London. He has contributed to research and publications on experimental embryology of invertebrates, especially mollusks.

As a testament to his success, Dr. Cather was the recipient of an Upjohn Faculty Fellowship in 1965 and the Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching from the University of Michigan in 1964. Likewise, he was selected for inclusion in the 23rd edition of Who’s Who in the Midwest, as well as the 44th through 48th editions of Who’s Who in America. However, the highlight of his career was giving a seminar lecture on embryology while he was working at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Massachusetts. He considered it a great honor because he was asked by a scientist who was considered a pioneer in the industry.

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