Dickson Despommier

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Dickson D. Despommier
Dickson Despommier underground.JPG
Dickson Despommier (2014).
Born (1940-06-05) June 5, 1940 (age 76)
New Orleans, Louisiana
Citizenship American
Fields parasitology
ecology
Institutions Columbia University Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health and Department of Microbiology, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Alma mater

Columbia University, Medical Parasitology

University of Notre Dame, Microbiology
Thesis The in vivo and in vitro analysis of acquired resistance to Trichinella spiralis infections in mice. (1967)
Known for Vertical Farming
Medical Ecology of West Nile Virus
Urban Sustainable Agricultural Initiatives
Emerging Infectious Disease Ecology
The Trichinella Page
Medica Ecology
The Vertical Farm
Influenced Rene Dubos, Miklos Muller, Vincent Racaniello
Notable awards American Medical Student Association National Teaching Award 2003
Dickson Despommier at Pop!Tech 2008

Dickson D. Despommier (born June 5, 1940[1]) is an emeritus professor of microbiology and Public Health at Columbia University. From 1971-2009, he conducted research on intracellular parasitism and taught courses on parasitic diseases, medical ecology and ecology. In recent years, Despommier has received considerable media coverage for his ideas on vertical farming.[2][3] He developed his concept of vertical farming over a 10-year period with graduate students in a medical ecology class beginning in 1999, with work continued by Ontarian eco-architects like Gordon Graff [4][5] from the University of Waterloo's School of Architecture.

Despommier is also co-host of three popular podcasts along with Vincent Racaniello, namely TWIV (This Week in Virology), TWIP (This Week in Parasitism) and Urban Agriculture.[6]

Research[edit]

Despommier has research interest in the ecotone, a transition area between two biomes, as a zone of high disease transmission and also in the spread of schistosomiasis, malaria, and a variety of helminths (ascaris, hookworm, trichuris) in agricultural areas. Despommier has studied the ecology of West Nile virus with a focus on related patterns of weather.[1][7]

Research and findings on Trichinella spiralis, the causative agent of trichinosis, have resulted in a large body of literature. Despommier is especially known for his research findings in this area which lead to numerous advances in our understanding of the muscle stage of the organism and how it maintains itself in the host for long periods of time in the Nurse cell/parasite complex (weeks to years in some cases).

Trichinella spiralis research publications[edit]

  • Despommier, Dickson D.; Kajima, Masahiro; Wostmann, Bernard S. (June 1967). "Ferritin-Conjugated Antibody Studies on the Larvae of Trichinella spiralis". The Journal of Parasitology 53 (3): 618. doi:10.2307/3276727. ISSN 0022-3395. JSTOR 3276727. 
  • Dennis, David T.; Despommier, Dickson D.; Davis, Norma (October 1970). "Infectivity of the Newborn Larva of Trichinella spiralis in the Rat". The Journal of Parasitology 56 (5): 974. doi:10.2307/3277516. ISSN 0022-3395. JSTOR 3277516. 
  • Despommier, Dickson; Weisbroth, Steven; Fass, Christopher (April 1974). "Circulating Eosinophils and Trichinosis in the Rat: The Parasitic Stage Responsible for Induction during Infection". The Journal of Parasitology 60 (2): 280. doi:10.2307/3278465. ISSN 0022-3395. JSTOR 3278465. 
  • Feldman, Alan; Rosenkrantz, Herbert S.; Despommier, Dickson (June 1975). "Guanine-Cytosine Content of DNA from the Mature Muscle Larva of Trichinella spiralis as Determined from Buoyant Density and Thermal-Helix Coil Transition Measurements". The Journal of Parasitology 61 (3): 570–571. doi:10.2307/3279355. JSTOR 3279355. 
  • Despommier, Dickson D.; Müller, Miklós (October 1976). "The Stichosome and Its Secretion Granules in the Mature Muscle Larva of Trichinella spiralis". The Journal of Parasitology 62 (5): 775–785. doi:10.2307/3278960. JSTOR 3278960. 
  • Despommier, D. D.; Campbell, W. C.; Blair, L. S. (February 1977). "The in vivo and in vitro ananlysis of immunity to Trichinella spiralis in mice and rats". Parasitology 74 (01): 109–119. doi:10.1017/S0031182000047570. 
  • Despommier, Dickson D.; Laccetti, Anthony (June 1981). "Trichinella spiralis: Partial Characterization of Antigens Isolated by Immuno-Affinity Chromatography from the Large-Particle Fraction of the Muscle Larvae". The Journal of Parasitology 67 (3): 332–339. doi:10.2307/3280552. JSTOR 3280552. 
  • Despommier, D.d. (September 1981). "Partial purification and characterization of protection-inducing antigens from the muscle larva of Trichinella spiralis by molecular sizing chromatography and preparative flatbed isoelectric focusing". Parasite Immunology 3 (3): 261–272. doi:10.1111/j.1365-3024.1981.tb00405.x. ISSN 1365-3024. 
  • Burnham, Jeffrey C.; Despommier, Dickson D. (April 1984). "Development of the Male Genitalia of Trichinella spiralis during the Enteral Phase of Infection in the Mouse: An SEM Study". The Journal of Parasitology 70 (2): 310–311. doi:10.2307/3281885. JSTOR 3281885. 
  • Capo, Virginia; Despommier, Dickson D.; Silberstein, David S. (December 1984). "The Site of Ecdysis of the L1 Larva of Trichinella spiralis". The Journal of Parasitology 70 (6): 992–994. doi:10.2307/3281660. JSTOR 3281660. 
  • Silberstein, David S.; Despommier, Dickson D. (August 1985). "Immunization with Purified Antigens Protects Mice from Lethal Infection with Trichinella spiralis". The Journal of Parasitology 71 (4): 516–517. doi:10.2307/3281550. JSTOR 3281550. 
  • Pincus, S. H.; Cammarata, P. V.; Delima, M.; Despommier, D. (April 1986). "Eosinophilia in Murine Trichinellosis". The Journal of Parasitology 72 (2): 321–325. doi:10.2307/3281612. JSTOR 3281612. 
  • Capó, Virginia; Silberstein, David; Despommier, Dickson D. (December 1986). "Immunocytolocalization of Two Protection-Inducing Antigens of Trichinella spiralis during Its Enteral Phase in Immune and Non-Immune Mice". The Journal of Parasitology 72 (6): 931–938. doi:10.2307/3281847. JSTOR 3281847. 
  • Baruch, Alice M.; Despommier, Dickson D. (February 1991). "Blood Vessels in Trichinella spiralis Infections: A Study Using Vascular Casts". The Journal of Parasitology 77 (1): 99–103. doi:10.2307/3282565. JSTOR 3282565. 
  • Despommier, Dickson; Symmans, W. Fraser; Dell, Ralph (April 1991). "Changes in Nurse Cell Nuclei during Synchronous Infection with Trichinella spiralis". The Journal of Parasitology 77 (2): 290–295. doi:10.2307/3283099. JSTOR 3283099. 
  • Despommier, Dickson D. (August 1993). "Trichinella spiralis and the Concept of Niche". The Journal of Parasitology 79 (4): 472–482. doi:10.2307/3283370. JSTOR 3283370. 
  • Montgomery, J.; Feldman, A.; Despommier, D. D.; Stewart, G. L.; Haehling, E. (August 1995). "A Method for Isolation and Partial Purification of Trichinella spiralis Nurse Cells". The Journal of Parasitology 81 (4): 649–652. doi:10.2307/3283871. JSTOR 3283871. 
  • Capó, Virginia A.; Despommier, Dickson D.; Polvere, Ramona I. (April 1998). "Trichinella spiralis: Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Is Up-Regulated within the Nurse Cell during the Early Phase of Its Formation". The Journal of Parasitology 84 (2): 209–214. doi:10.2307/3284472. JSTOR 3284472. 

Vertical farming[edit]

Main article: Vertical farming

Despommier is concerned about protecting food crops from severe weather events such as floods and droughts. He has explored the feasibility of raising crops indoors in multistory buildings within the urban landscape.[1]

In June, 2008 Despommier appeared on the "Colbert Report", where he described the concept of vertical farming to Stephen Colbert.[8][9]

Concepts of medical ecology, a course taught by Despommier, is summarized in 18 presentations.[10]

Books[edit]

Despommier has authored or co-authored seven books:

Photography[edit]

Despommier is also a photographer. He received the following photography awards:

  • "First place in photography", Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit, Fall 2004 – "Portals"
  • "Highest award in show", Salmagundi Club, Fall 2006. – "Mocha Latte Water buffalo"

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Dickson Despommier's Profile". Eoearth.org. Retrieved 2014-08-23. [dead link]
  2. ^ Venkataraman, Bina (July 15, 2008). "Country, the City Version: Farms in the Sky Gain New Interest". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ Walsh, Bryan (December 11, 2008). "Vertical Farming". Time. 
  4. ^ Whyte, Murray (July 27, 2008). "Is high rise farming in Toronto's future?". Toronto Star. 
  5. ^ Alter, Lloyd (June 14, 2007). "Sky Farm Proposed for Downtown Toronto". TreeHugger.com. 
  6. ^ "Urban Agriculture". Urban Agriculture. MicrobeTV. Retrieved September 2, 2014. 
  7. ^ Despommier, Dickson D. (2001). West Nile Story. Apple Trees Productions. ISBN 978-0-9700027-1-6. 
  8. ^ Ferguson, DB (June 13, 2008). "Episode 4078". NoFactZone.net. 
  9. ^ Despommier, Dickson; Colbert, Stephen (June 12, 2008). "Dickson Despommier". Colbert Report. 
  10. ^ Dickson, Despommier (2004). "Medical Ecology". Medical Ecology.org. 

External links[edit]