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Washington and Lee University

Washington and Lee University

Bringing in the Best

Dr. Herbert Lubs Jr. '50

from The Bridge: Spring/Summer 2011 issue

Dr. Herbert Lubs Jr. '50Dr. Herbert Lubs Jr., a winner last fall of the Distinguished Alumnus Award, has given $50,000 to support salaries for science faculty that will be eventually combined with a bequest to establish the Lubs Professorship in Science. "My father, Herbert A. Lubs Sr., was a chemist with a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins who established the important role of pH determinations in biology and medicine," says Lubs. "This named professorship will be a nice way to recognize both of us."

Lubs, a groundbreaking medical geneticist, received the Kennedy Award for his work on the Fragile X Syndrome, which represents the most common genetic cause of mental retardation in males. Subsequently, he also described about 20 other related X-linked genes and syndromes that also cause mental retardation. The first prenatal genetic diagnoses for chromosome abnormalities and early studies of chromosome abnormalities in cancer cells were also carried out in his laboratory at Yale. Given that career, it's no surprise that he would like to see the sciences and science graduates receive even more recognition at Washington and Lee.

"When I was at W&L, most of the emphasis was on the business and liberal arts programs, and there were no research projects in the sciences. W&L has changed dramatically. Now there ate a number of fine projects going, providing students with the opportunity to participate in research early in their careers."

Lubs, who now lives in Painter, Va., recalls several professors who made a deep impression on him, including John Baxter in chemistry and Kenneth Stevens in biology. "I'm extremely grateful for the freedom I had to educate myself at W&L. I hope my gift helps continue to bring in the best science faculty."