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W. Malcolm Byrnes

The Speakers Bureau of Howard University (SBHU) is designed to provide an opportunity for faculty to share their current expertise, while bringing to the forefront their pioneering research in a number of disciplines.

W. Malcolm Byrnes

Associate Professor
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Professor Byrnes completed his undergraduate studies in chemistry at Xavier University of Louisiana (1981) and then went on to obtain a PhD in biochemistry from LouisianaState University in Baton Rouge (1994). He was a postdoctoral fellow at CornellUniversity in Ithaca, New York, from 1994 to1996. Since 2001, he has been at Howard’sCollege of Medicine, where his research has centered on the structure and function of microbial enzymes of potential biomedical or biotechnological importance. In recent years, Dr. Byrnes has developed an interest in the scientific legacy of the pioneering early-twentieth century embryologist Ernest Everett Just. He has written several papers and has given a number of talks, both nationally and internationally, on Just and his contributions. In 2008, he organized an NSF-funded symposium held on Howard’s campus honoring the legacy of Just (see Many of the speakers at the symposium contributed papers to a special issue of the journal MolecularReproduction and Development that was published the following year (volume 76, issue 10). A partial listing of Byrnes’s publications on Just is given below.

Partial Listing of Publications

  • Byrnes WM, Eckberg WR (2006) Ernest Everett Just (1883-1941)—An Early Ecological Developmental Biologist. Developmental Biology 296, 1-11.
  • Byrnes WM (2007) Just, Ernest Everett (1883-1941). In: Koertge N, Ed., The New Dictionary of Scientific Biography. Farmington Hills , MI: Charles Scribner’s Sons/Gale Norton, 48-52.
  • Byrnes WM (2009) Ernest Everett Just, Johannes Holtfreter, and the Origin of Certain Concepts in Embryo Morphogenesis. Molecular Reproduction and Development 76, 912-921.
  • Byrnes WM (2010) Ernest Everett Just: Experimental Biologist Par Excellence.ASBMB Today (February issue): 22-25.
  • Byrnes WM (2013) Walking in the Footsteps of Ernest Everett Just at the Stazione Zoologica in Naples: Celebration of a Friendship. Howard University News Room website (June 11, 2013).
  • Byrnes WM (2013) Opinion: A Diverse Perspective: Progress in Science is Dependent on the Diversity of Its Workforce. The Scientist (July 29, 2013).

Contact Information


Office Phone: 202 806 9749

Office Address: 
520 W. St., NW
Washington, DC 20059