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Thomas C. Spelsberg


Thomas C. Spelsberg (‘63 BS, ‘67)

Thomas C. Spelsberg was born in Clarksburg, W.Va., and graduated from West Virginia University in 1964 with a dual degree in biology and chemistry. He earned his Ph.D. in biochemical genetics from the WVU College of Agriculture and Forestry in 1976.

He continued his postdoctoral training in biochemistry at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute from 1967-68 and served as assistant professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Center for Reproductive Biology.

Spelsberg is a recognized leading authority on cell biology and genetic research. He is currently the George M. Eisenberg professor and chair, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Mayo Foundation.

His affiliation with the Mayo Clinic and Mayo Medical and Graduate Schools of Medicine began in 1973 when he served as consultant to the department of molecular medicine. By 1980, he was head, section of biochemistry, department of cell biology and professor, department of biochemistry and molecular biology. In 1986, he was named Distinguished Investigator, Mayo Clinic and Graduate School of Medicine. Then in 1991, he was appointed editorial board member of the Mayo Clinic Health Letter.

As a professor, Spelsberg has been directly involved in programs to advance knowledge. He has directed courses and presented yearly lectures in biochemistry and molecular biology; served on the Mayo Medical School education committee and first year medical school curriculum committee; and initiated and directed the medical student third-year research program. In addition, Spelsberg has overseen many thesis committees and dissertations and directed research for postdoctoral fellows, residents, and medical students.

His research includes such areas as the physiology of bone metabolism in an aging population; reproductive biology; and endocrinology and metabolism. Spelsberg has patented four inventions and his bibliography includes nearly 200 articles, abstracts or presentations. He serves on many institutional committees and editorial boards and has given more than 60 symposia lectures.

His numerous awards and honors include: Excellence in Teaching Award, Mayo Medical School, 1982; Teacher of the Year, Mayo Clinic Residents and Fellows Association, 1984, 1985; and Watkins Visiting Professorship, University of Wichita, 1991. He has been named Distinguished Lecturer at: New Jersey School of Medicine, 1976; Oral Roberts School of Medicine, 1977; University of Connecticut, 1978; University of Wisconsin, 1988; West Virginia University School of Medicine, 1988; and University of Akron Biomedical Sciences, 1990.

Spelsberg served as a member of the board of directors, George M. Eisenberg Foundation for Charities; chairperson, Symposium of Intracellular Signaling, Rochester, Minnesota; and member of the Committee to Combat Huntington’s Disease. He is also a member of Sigma Xi; American Society of Cell Biologists; Endocrine Society; American Society of Biological Chemists; Society for the Study of Reproduction; and American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.