Long-time Chlamydomonas researcher and educator, Robert (Bob) K. Togasaki, who was born in San Francisco, California, on July 24, 1932, passed away in Bloomington, Indiana on November 19, 2019. He was a familiar presence at Chlamydomonas meetings over the years where he had many friends and collaborators.
Bob’s research career began in the lab of Martin Gibbs at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, where he received his Ph.D. in 1964 in Biochemistry; the title of his dissertation was “Enhanced dark 14CO2 fixation by preilluminated algae.” From there, he moved on to a postdoctoral appointment with Paul Levine at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. In 1968, Bob was appointed to the Botany faculty (later Biology) at Indiana University (IU), Bloomington. After serving as a full Professor since 1983, he retired in 1997. His research focused primarily on photosynthesis, taking advantage of Chlamydomonas as a genetic system, to isolate mutants and elucidate photosynthesis related-biochemical pathways including Photosystem II, photophosphorylation, reductive pentose phosphate cycle, and later carbonic anhydrase. During his tenure at IU, he trained more than 20 graduate students, and many other researchers in addition to hundreds of undergraduate biology majors. One of his major achievements was as the developer of the BioNeb(ulizer); a novel cell-disruption or cell-breakage device, especially useful for algal and plant cell applications. After his retirement, Bob volunteered as an educator to young students in the Bloomington community. He was a beloved colleague and mentor who will be remembered for his enthusiasm for Chlamydomonas research and for his great compassion for all.