It is with great pleasure that I introduce this year's winner of the Bueding and von Brand Lectureship award, Dr. James “Sparky” Lok. This Lectureship “honors someone who has made major research contributions to the field of biochemistry, molecular biology, and/or pharmacology of parasitic helminths.” As will soon become apparent, Sparky truly deserves this honor for his landmark advances in parasitic nematode molecular biology.

I first met Sparky more than 30 years ago, when I was a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a faculty member in the parasitology group. As 1 of only 2 faculty members studying nematodes (the other being my mentor Gerry Schad), Sparky was both a source of information and inspiration, as well as a member of my committee. He was also somewhat of an enigma. He occupied a lab in a distant part of...

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