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Photo of Brandon Coughlin with award

Brandon Coughlin

Photo of Jonathan Rennhack with award

Jonathan Rennhack



Joseph Meites was one of the most influential faculty ever associated with the MSU Department of Physiology. His career spanned the period from the early 1940s through the 1980s. During that period of time he published over 500 peer-reviewed papers, making seminal contributions to the understanding of neuroendocrine function.  In 1979, he was presented the Carl G. Hartman Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Society for the Study of Reproduction, for his elucidation of the functions, regulation, and diseases associated with prolactin secretion. He also contributed to the identification and isolation of the first peptide hormones, which eventually yielded Nobel Prizes for his colleagues Roger Guillemin and Andrew Schally. Around 1940, Joe met Mable Rumburg , who was studying for a degree in technology at the University of Missouri, and they married in 1943. Mable went on to get a Masters in Medical Social Work, later teaching this subject as an instructor at the Washington University in St. Louis while Joe obtained his Ph. D. In 1947, they then moved to Michigan State University, where both were active members of the community for the rest of their lives. Upon his retirement, in 1984, Joe and Mable, set up “The Joseph and Mable Meites Scholarship Fund” to promote their belief in the importance of research and education in the betterment of humanity.  As Joe wrote in 1978, “Scientific research is not without its problems and frustrations, but there also are many compensations. Among the greatest satisfactions for me has been the opportunity to be associated with many young, bright, and motivated … students.”  The Meites awards ensure that such young, bright and motivated students will continue to have the opportunity to follow in Joe’s and Mable’s footsteps.


Wade, Nicholas. The Nobel Duel. New York: Doubleday 1981.