Index of Memorial Resolutions and Biographical Sketches
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LEONARD JOHN RODE, JR.
Dr. Leonard John Rode, Jr., former associate professor of microbiology at The University of Texas at Austin, died on July 15, 2004, in Houston, Texas. Born January 6, 1917, in Miles, Texas, the son of a Methodist minister, L.J. received his high school education in Seguin, Texas, graduating in 1935. He completed two years of undergraduate study during 1935-37 at Westmoreland College in San Antonio, Texas. Westmoreland College was a Methodist College at that time and a predecessor of the current Trinity University. L.J. then transferred to UT and completed his B.A. degree in bacteriology in 1939. He then enrolled in the UT bacteriology graduate program and received the M.A. degree in 1941. During those early years at UT, L.J. met his future wife, Lydia Anne Siptak of Caldwell, Texas, and they were married in 1942.
After completing the M.A. degree, L.J. worked for five years as an immunologist in the Texas State Health Department, Austin, Texas, during which time his group worked on brucellosis, a very common bacterial disease of cattle, sheep, goats, and swine, caused by Brucella species, including B. abortus, B. ovis and B. suis. These organisms were important not only in animals, but they also were spread to people, mostly by contaminated animal products, including unpasteurized milk that caused undulant fever. L.J.’s interest in brucellosis continued for another decade from 1945-1955, during which time he was appointed a research scientist to work on the Brucellosis Research Project in the Clayton Foundation for Research at UT. That project involved defining media for culture and diagnosis of the brucellae. Those early studies by Dr. Rode and other workers, including Charles E. Lankford, Jr., Vernon T. Schuhardt, and E.Statten Wynne, led to effective control programs, and brucellosis is now rare in the U.S. – only three new herd infections occurred in this country in 2001.
Dr. Rode returned to fulltime graduate study in microbiology in 1955 at UT, supported that year by a prestigious National Institutes of Health Predoctoral Fellowship. He worked under the direction of the highly respected Jackson W. Foster and completed the Ph.D. in 1956. He and Foster began studies on sporulation and germination of bacteria of the Bacillus genus. Dr. Rode continued research with Dr. Foster long after completing his graduate studies and worked as a research associate with him until 1966. During those years, they began early work on the structure and biochemistry of bacterial spores and identified specific agents which triggered germination of the dormant spores into vegetative growth. Their work demonstrated the importance of bacterial sporulation and germination as microbial developmental processes and provided the foundation for current investigations into these phenomena.
Dr. Rode was appointed to the microbiology faculty at UT as an associate professor in 1966 and then developed an independent research group studying spore structure and biochemistry in the anaerobic genus Clostridium and the taxonomy of those organisms. One member of his group, Dr. Leodocia Pope, later became a senior lecturer at the UT microbiology department. Some of the species studied by the Rode group were isolated within the U.S.S.R. but brought to Texas by the reputation of the UT sporulation group. Especially interesting were some species which produced spores with remarkable protruding appendages. Rode’s early work on those organisms is continuing at UT and other schools. His independent work and that with Professor Foster was important because spore-forming bacteria have been and will continue to be extremely important in food processing, human and veterinary medicine, industry, pest control, biotechnology, and bioterrorism.
Dr. Rode actively participated in microbiological and other science organizations, including the American Society for Microbiology, serving as the president of the Texas branch of that society. He published almost forty original research papers, presented talks at scientific meetings, and was invited to write review articles. His research in the microbiology department at UT was supported by research grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. He was recognized by inclusion in American Men and Women of Science. Dr. Rode retired in 1978 for health reasons. Dr. Rode was an expert in his field who communicated with students the value of technique and dedication in research. He set high standards for himself and others. A serious-minded individual, he was a role model for integrity and commitment in science.
On the personal level, L.J. and his wife enjoyed family and friends as well as gardening, entertaining, sports, furniture building and refinishing, fishing, art, and travel. He and Lydia traveled rather extensively in Europe including the eastern European countries during the years of communism. They made contact with Lydia’s relatives in (what was then) Czechoslovakia and visited them several times. L.J. was active in intramural sports while a student at U.T. He later enjoyed fishing and the camaraderie of the Society of Applied Piscatology, a group organized by UT faculty and staff personnel to sponsor an annual fishing expedition. The society was very successful for at least fifty years, celebrating its 50th anniversary in 1990. He was proud of their daughter, Janet Lynn, who became a public school teacher and her husband, Steve Schaeffer, of Houston, Texas; their grandson, Michael Schaeffer, and his wife Teresa Schaeffer, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and his brother, R. Lee Rode, M.D., and his wife, Ann Rode, of Abilene, Texas. Dr. Rode was genuinely liked and respected by his many friends and professional colleagues.
Larry R. Faulkner, President
The University of Texas at Austin
Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The General Faculty
This memorial resolution was prepared by a special committee consisting of Professors James R. Walker (chair), Charles F. Earhart, and Paul J. Szaniszlo.
Wynne, E.S., L.J. Rode and A.E. Hayward. 1942. Mechanism of the selective action of eosin methylene blue agar on the enteric group. Stain Technology 17, 11-20.
Rode, L.J. and J.W. Foster and V.T. Schuhardt, 1947. Penicillin production by a thermophilic fungus. J. Bacteriol. 53, 565-566.
Schuhardt, V.T., T.B. Carroll, L.J. Rode and Helen Lacy, 1948. The permeability of the lactating bovine mammary gland to sulfonamides. Am. J. Vet. Res. 9, 144-146.
Schuhardt, V.T., L.J. Rode, J.W. Foster and G. Oglesby. 1948. An antibrucella factor in peptones. J. Bacteriol. 57, 1-8.
Schuhardt, V.T., L.J. Rode and G. Oglesby. 1949. The toxicity of certain amino acids for brucellae. J. Bacteriol. 58, 665-674.
Rode, L.J., G. Oglesby and V.T. Schuhardt. 1950. The cultivation of brucellae on chemically defined media. J. Bacteriol. 60, 661-668.
Schuhardt, V.T., L.J. Rode, G. Oglesby and C.E. Lankford. 1950. The development of peptone of toxicity for brucellae with aging and the correlation of this toxicity with the probable oxidation of cystine. J. Bacteriol. 60, 655-660.
Rode, L.J., C.E. Lankford and V.T. Schuhardt. 1951. Studies of sulfur metabolism of Brucella suis. J. Bacteriol. 62. 571-582.
Schuhardt, V.T., L.J. Rode, G. Oglesby and C.E. Lankford. 1952. Toxicity of elemental sulfur for brucellae. J. Bacteriol. 63. 123-128.
Lankford, C.E., L.J. Rode and V.T. Schuhardt. 1953. The effect of methionine upon utilization of DL-homocystine by Brucella suis. Proc. Soc. Exptl. Biol. Med. 80, 727-731.
Lankford, C.E., L.J. Rode and V.T. Schuhardt. 1955. Factors influencing utilization of the sterioisomers of homocystine by Brucella. J. Bacteriol. 71, 582-587.
Rode, L.J. and J.W. Foster. 1960. Mechanical germination of bacterial spores. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. (U.S.) 46, 118-128.
Rode, L.J. and J.W. Foster. 1960. Induced release of dipicolinic acid from spores of Bacillus megaterium. J. Bacteriol. 79. 650-656.
Rode, L.J. and J.W. Foster. 1960. The action of surfactants on bacterial spores. Arch. Mikrobiol. 36, 67-94.
Rode, L.J. and J.W. Foster. 1960. Germination of bacterial spores with alkyl primary amines. J. Bacteriol. 81. 768-799.
Bienvenu, R.J., L.J. Rode and V.T. Schuhardt. 1961. Micro-colony brucellacidal test. J. Bacteriol. 81, 684-687.
Rode, L.J. and J.W. Foster. 1961. Physiological and chemical germination of spores of Bacillus megaterium. Z. allg. Mikrobiol. 1, 307-322.
Rode, L.J., C.W. Lewis and J.W. Foster. 1962. Electron microscopy of spores of Bacillus megaterium with special reference to the effects of fixation and thin sectioning. J. Cell Biol. 13. 423-435.
Rode, L.J. and J.W. Foster. 1962. Ions and the germination of Bacillus cereus T. Nature 194. 1300-1301.
Rode, L.J. and J.W. Foster. 1962. Ionic germination of spores of Bacillus megaterium QM B1551. Arch Mikrobiol. 43. 183-200.
Rode, L.J. and J.W. Foster. 1962. Ionic and non-ionic compounds in the germination of spores of Bacillus megaterium Texas. Arch. Mikrobiol. 43. 201-212.
Rode, L.J. and J.W. Foster. 1965. Gaseous hydrocarbons and the germination of bacterial spores. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S. 53, 31-38.
Rode, L.J. and J.W. Foster. 1966. Quantitative aspects of exchangeable calcium in spores of Bacillus megaterium. J. Bacteriol. 91, 1589-1593.
Rode, L.J. and J.W. Foster. 1966. Influence of exchangeable ions on germinability of bacterial spores. J. Bacteriol. 91. 1582-1588.
Rode, L.J. and M.G. Williams. 1966. Utility of sodium hypochlorite for ultrastructure study of bacterial spore integuments. J. Bacteriol. 92, 1772-1778.
Rode, L.J. and J.W. Foster. 1966. Gaseous alkanes and development in some diverse biological systems. A. Allg. Mikrobiol. 6, 353-360.
Rode, L.J., M.A. Crawford, M.G. Williams. 1967. Clostridium spores with ribbon-like appendages. J. Bacteriol. 93, 1160-1173.
Pope, L., D.P. Yolton, and L.J. Rode. 1967. Appendages of Clostridium bifermentans spores. J. Bacteriol. 94, 1206-1215.
Yolton, D.P., L. Pope, M.G. Williams and L.J. Rode. 1968. Further electron microscope characterization of spore appendages in Clostridium bifermentans. J. Bacteriol. 95, 231-238.
Rode, L.J. 1968. Correlation between spore structure and spore properties in Bacillus megaterium. J. Bacteriol. 95, 1979-1986.
Pope, L., D.P. Yolton, and L.J. Rode. 1968. Crystalline inclusions of Clostridium cochlearium. J. Bacteriol. 96, 1859-1862.
Suzuki, Y., and L.J. Rode. 1969. Effect of lysozyme on resting spores of Bacillus megaterium. J. Bacteriol. 98, 238-245.
Pope, L., and L.J. Rode. 1969. Spore fine structure in Clostridium cochlearium. J. Bacteriol. 100, 994-1001.
Rode, L.J., and Louis DS. Smith. 1971. Taxonomic implications of spore fine structure on Clostridium bifermentans. J. Bacteriol. 105. 349-354.
Rode, L.J., L. Pope, and C. Filip, and L.DS. Smith. 1971. Spore appendages and taxonomy of Clostridium sordellii. J. Bacteriol. 108. 1384-1389.
Yolton, D.P., R.N. Huettel, D.K. Simpson and L.J. Rode. 1972. Isolation and partial chemical characterization of the spore appendages of Clostridium taeniosporum. J. Bacteriol. 109, 881-885.
Rode, L.J., G. Oglesby and V.T. Schuhardt. 1950. The cultivation of brucellae on chemically defined media. Bacteriol. Proc. 1950. 43.
Rode, L.J., C.E. Lankford and V.T. Schuhardt. 1951. The sulfur metabolism of Brucella suis. Bacteriol. Proc. 1951, 143.
Schuhardt, V.T., L.J. Rode, G. Oglesby and C.E. Lankford. 1951. Toxicity of elemental sulfur for Brucellae. 1951, 36.
Rode, L.J., C.E. Lankford and V.T. Schuhardt. 1953. Studies of the sulfur metabolism of Brucella melitensis. Bacteriol. Proc. 1953, 79.
Williams, H., E.H. Dew, C.E. Lankford, L.J. Rode and V.T. Schuhardt. 1953. Bacteriostatic and bactericidal effects of colloidal sulfur. Bacteriol. Proc. 1953, 15.
Rode, L.J. and J.W. Foster. 1961. Germination of Bacillus megaterium spores with n alkyl primary amines. Bacteriol. Proc. 1961, 76.
Rode, L.J. and J.W. Foster. 1966. The effect of exchangeable ions on germinability of Bacillus megaterium spores. Bacteriol. Proc. 1966. p. 17.
Suzuki, Y., and L.J. Rode. 1967. Germination of bacterial spores with lysozyme. Bacteriol. Proc. 1967, p. 22.
Rode, L.J. 1968. Correlation between spore morphology and other spore properties in Bacillus megaterium. Bacteriol. Proc. 1968, p. 37.
Rode, L.J. 1967. "Bacterial Spore", In The Encyclopedia of Biochemistry, R.J. Williams and E.M. Lansford. Jr. (eds.) Reinhold Publishing Corporation, New York, 1967, p. 758-760.
Rode L.J. 1971. Bacterial spore appendages. C.R.C. Critical Reviews in Microbiology. 1, 1-27.