Dr. Joseph T. Holden '44
A first generation son of Josef and Stanislawa (Golas) Kubikowski, Joseph T. Holden was born January 18, 1925. Settled in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Greenpoint, Joe earned a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn (NYU) at the age of 18. Inducted into the U.S. Army, he participated in the V-2 Rocket program at the White Sands Missile Range, NM. After WWII, he enrolled in graduate studies at The University of Wisconsin-Madison and earned his Ph.D. in 1951. In Madison, Joe married Nancy Lynn Collier, who has been by his side for the past 65 years. He completed post-doctoral work on an NIH Fellowship at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, CA under Dr. Norman Horowitz, from 1951-1953. From 1953-1954 he worked as a research biochemist at DuPont in Wilmington, DE. The family returned to Pasadena and settled there in 1954.
A pioneer in the field of Neurobiology Research, he joined The City of Hope in Duarte, CA. in 1954. He studied the structural and metabolic properties of bacteria, especially the cell boundary layers and nutrient transport systems. His laboratory was one of the earliest to establish the existence and role of transport proteins in moving amino acids across cell membranes. Previously, he discovered that a class of amino acids thought to be “unnatural” and to have no biological function, in fact were essential and unique structural components of bacteria. Among his numerous published papers, he edited “Amino acid pools : distribution, formation and function of free amino acids: Proceedings of a symposium on free amino acids held at the City of Hope Medical Center, Duarte, Calif. (U. S. A.) May 1961.” He played a key role in establishing the Beckman Research Institute at the City of Hope, and served as acting director from 1983 to 1993.
An avid photographer and music devotee, he traveled the world eating well and enjoying fine wines. His love of photography led him to amass a considerable collection of books on the subject, the contents of which can be found online at josephholdenbooks.com. He was a man of great intellect with a sharp wit and expansive ideas. He was kind, generous and wise, and had a keen sense of humor. He was loved very much and will be greatly missed.