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TODAY news for Thursday, December 17, 2007

School of Medicine news

Emeritus professor receives Society of Vector Ecology award

Raymond E. Ryckman, PhD
Raymond E. Ryckman, PhD
Emeritus professor of biochemistry and microbiology Raymond E. Ryckman, PhD, is the recipient of a special “Distinguished Achievement Award” presented by the Society of Vector Ecology at their October 8 meeting held in Atlanta, Georgia, for Dr. Ryckman’s leadership in medical entomology.

His research was concerned with the production of the largest-known database on Chagas disease and vectors consisting of more than 23,000 references in Spanish, French, Portuguese, and English.

The research and subsequent publication of a treatise on the triatoma protacta complex, or “kissing bug,” resulted in 47 publications in refereed journals. The Center for Disease Control of the United States Public Health Service has digitized his three-volume work for Internet release as well as for four additional publications.

Dr. Ryckman has published an additional 100 publications in scientific journals. His research was supported by the World Health Organization, the United States Public Health Service, and Loma Linda University.

A six-year grant from the office of the surgeon general of the United States resulted in a protocol for the control of plague that was effectively used in Asia.

In professional circles, Dr. Ryckman is a well-known entomologist for work conducted during his 40-year tenure at Loma Linda University. He has made many study visits throughout the Americas, and in Europe.

After his retirement in 1987, his family established the Raymond Ryckman lectureship. Hosting the lectureship is the department of microbiology and molecular genetics in the School of Medicine—the academic unit he worked in for most of his professional career.

A native of Wisconsin, Dr. Ryckman was educated at San Francisco City College. He received his master’s and doctor of philosophy degrees from the University of California at Berkeley.

Thanks to a United States Army grant, Dr. Ryckman was able to do extensive study on the topic of plagues, yersonia pestis. This research led directly to the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s interest in the military research center called Whitecoat, headquartered at Frederick, Maryland. Many Seventh-day Adventist miliary personnel took part in this medical study program that resulted in the saving of lives from research conducted at Whitecoat.

Dr. Ryckman retired from active teaching in 1987. The Ryckmans, who have three children—two physicians and a nurse—have lived in their same house in Loma Linda for the past 57 years.

By Don A. Roth

TODAY news for Thursday, December 17, 2007