Jan-Hendrik S. Hofmeyr

Jan-Hendrik Hofmeyr FRSSAf[1] (born 25 August 1953) is one of the leaders in the field of metabolic control analysis and the quantitative analysis of metabolic regulation.

Jan-Hendrik Hofmeyr
Jan-Hendrik Servaas Hofmeyr

(1953-08-25) 25 August 1953 (age 70)
Durban, South Africa
NationalitySouth African
Alma materStellenbosch University
Known formetabolic control analysis, metabolic regulation
AwardsHarry Oppenheimer Fellowship Award and Gold Medal (2002)
Beckman Coulter Gold Medal of the South African Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2003)
Scientific career
InstitutionsStellenbosch University
Thesis Studies in steady-state modelling and control analysis of metabolic systems  (1986)

Education edit

Hofmeyr was born in Durban, South Africa. He obtained BSc hons. (1976), MSc (1978) and PhD (1986) at the University of Stellenbosch. While preparing his doctoral thesis he spent six months with Athel Cornish-Bowden at Birmingham and three months with Henrik Kacser at Edinburgh. Both of these visits led to long-term collaborations.[2][3][4]

Research edit

Hofmeyr's doctoral research concerned the use of graphical patterns to elucidate chains of interaction in metabolic regulation, later published in the European Journal of Biochemistry,[5] and his collaboration with Kacser led to a study of the effect of moiety-conservation on control of pathways.[6] At this time he and Cornish-Bowden were concerned that the development of metabolic control analysis seemed to be almost independent of the knowledge of metabolic regulation that had grown from the recognition of regulatory mechanisms in the 1950s and 1960s, most notably the importance of feedback inhibition[7][8][9][10] and cooperative behaviour of enzymes.[11] This led them to propose a way of quantifying metabolic regulation,[12] the first of a series of publications that culminated in an analysis of the role of supply and demand in biochemical systems, i.e. an analysis of how negative feedback allow metabolic pathways to respond to changes in the demand for metabolites while resisting variations in the supply of starting materials.[13]

During the 21st century Hofmeyr has applied ideas of control analysis to ecosystems,[14] and to the understanding of the self-organization of cell function in the spirit of Robert Rosen.[15] More recently he has worked on the development of code biology, the novel discipline founded by Marcello Barbieri that recognizes that the genetic code is just one of several codes used and needed by biological systems.[16]

Career edit

Appointed as Junior Lecturer in the Biochemistry Department of the University of Stellenbosch in 1975, Hofmeyr eventually became Distinguished Professor in 2014, and Emeritus Professor in 2019. Between 2009 and 2015 he was Co-director and then Director of the Centre for Studies in Complexity at Stellenbosch, which he had co-founded in 2009.[3][17]

Prizes and distinctions edit

Other activities edit

In addition to his scientific research, Hofmeyr is a classically trained flute player and also plays the baroque flute, guitar and banjo. He was one of the composers and performers who helped launch the Afrikaans "Kabaret" tradition in the 1980s in South Africa, through his work with authors, composers and directors. His classic scores for lyrics of Hennie Aucamp and Etienne van Heerden have become standard items in Afrikaans popular music. He has also played older characters in productions of the University of Stellenbosch Drama Department.[20]

References edit

  1. ^ "Current Fellows – Royal Society of South Africa". Royal Society of South Africa. 5 October 2021. Retrieved 27 May 2022.
  2. ^ "Jannie Hofmeyr CV" (PDF). University of Stellenbosch. 2019. Retrieved 27 May 2022.
  3. ^ a b "Hofmeyr, Jan-Hendrik Servaas (Jannie)". African Scientists Directory. Retrieved 27 May 2022.
  4. ^ a b "The Oppenheimer Memorial Trust | 2002 — Jan-Hendrik Hofmeyr". Oppenheimer Memorial Trust. 2022. Retrieved 27 May 2022.
  5. ^ Hofmeyr, J.-H. S. (1989). "Control-pattern analysis of metabolic pathways: Flux and concentration control in linear pathways". Eur. J. Biochem. 186 (1–2): 343–354. doi:10.1111/j.1432-1033.1989.tb15215.x. PMID 2598934.
  6. ^ Hofmeyr, J.-H. S.; Kacser, H.; Van der Merwe, K.J. (1986). "Metabolic control analysis of moiety-conserved cycles". Eur. J. Biochem. 155 (3): 631–641. doi:10.1111/j.1432-1033.1986.tb09534.x. PMID 3956502.
  7. ^ Dische, Z. (1941). "Sur l'interdépendance des divers enzymes du système glycolytique et sur la régulation automatique de leur activité dans les cellules" [On the interdependence of the various enzymes of the glycolytic system and on the automatic regulation of their activity in cells]. Bull. Soc. Chim. Biol. 23: 1140–1148.
  8. ^ Umbarger, H. E. (1956). "Evidence for a negative-feedback mechanism in the biosynthesis of isoleucine". Science. 123 (3202): 848. Bibcode:1956Sci...123..848U. doi:10.1126/science.123.3202.848. PMID 13324101.
  9. ^ Yates, R. A.; Pardee, A. B. (1956). "Control of pyrimidine biosynthesis in Escherichia coli by a feed-back mechanism". J. Biol. Chem. 221 (1–2): 757–770. doi:10.1016/S0021-9258(18)65188-9.
  10. ^ The discovery of feedback inhibition of enzymes is usually attributed to the two papers of 1956. However, it was actually discovered much earlier by Zacharias Dische: see Cornish-Bowden, A. (2021). "Zacharias Dische and the discovery of feedback inhibition: A landmark paper published in the forerunner of Biochimie". Biochimie. 182: 120–130. doi:10.1016/j.biochi.2020.11.013. PMID 33285219. S2CID 227948364.
  11. ^ Monod, J.; Changeux, J.P.; Jacob, F. (1963). "Allosteric Proteins and Cellular Control Systems". J. Mol. Biol. 6 (4): 306–329. doi:10.1016/s0022-2836(63)80091-1. PMID 13936070.
  12. ^ Hofmeyr, J.-H. S.; Cornish-Bowden, A. (1991). "Quantitative assessment of regulation in metabolic systems". Eur. J. Biochem. 200 (1): 223–236. doi:10.1111/j.1432-1033.1991.tb21071.x. PMID 1879427.
  13. ^ Hofmeyr, J.-H. S.; Cornish-Bowden, A. (2000). "Regulating the cellular economy of supply and demand". FEBS Lett. 476 (1–2): 47–51. doi:10.1016/S0014-5793(00)01668-9. PMID 10878248.
  14. ^ Getz, W.M.; Westerhoff, H.V.; Hofmeyr, J.-H. S.; Snoep, J.L (2003). "Control analysis of trophic chains". Ecological Modelling. 168 (1–2): 153–171. doi:10.1016/S0304-3800(03)00208-4.
  15. ^ Wolkenhauer, O.; Hofmeyr, J.-H. S. (2007). "An abstract cell model that describes the self-organization of cell function in living systems". J. Theor. Biol. 246 (3): 461–476. Bibcode:2007JThBi.246..461W. doi:10.1016/j.jtbi.2007.01.005. PMID 17328919.
  16. ^ Hofmeyr, J.-H. S. (2018). "Causation, Constructors and Codes". BioSystems. 164 (SI): 121–127. doi:10.1016/j.biosystems.2017.09.008. PMID 28916462.
  17. ^ "Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study: Understanding complexity". Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  18. ^ "The South African Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology: SASBMB medals". Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  19. ^ "Die Akademie / Akademiepryse 1909-" (in Afrikaans). Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns. 2 July 2015. Archived from the original on 2 July 2015. Retrieved 27 May 2022.
  20. ^ "University of Stellenbosch Drama Department". Retrieved 10 March 2021.