Brazil 2006: Richard A. Lockshin

In his doctoral thesis Richard Lockshin documented and stated what struck him as an obvious point, that the death of cells during development could be considered like any other developmental event to be a controlled process. In 1964 and 1965, he and his mentor, Carroll M. Williams, published the argument and the experimental evidence in a series of papers under the thesis title “Programmed Cell Death”.


In subsequent papers, Lockshin was among the first to identify the synthesis of new proteins required to activate developmental cell death; the importance of autophagy in cell death processes; and the essentially normal physiological state of the dying cell until late in its collapse. He and his wife Zahra Zakeri founded the Gordon Conference on Cell Death and the International Cell Death Society.