Neil Whitfield Blackstone
Professor, Department of Biological Sciences
Northern Illinois University, USA
Neil did his Ph.D from Yale University in 1985. Postdoctoral fellow, Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia in 1985-1987, Professor, Center for Biochemical and Biophysical Studies, Northern Illinois University in 1994.Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Illinois University in 2006.
The history of his life is a history of the elaboration of levels or units of evolution-molecules within cells, cells within cells, cells within organisms. At each transition, conflicts between the lower level units had to be mediated in order for the higher level unit to emerge. These mechanisms of conflict mediation may themselves have been innovations that subsequently provided the raw material for further evolution. For instance, mechanisms for mediating conflicts between mitochondria and host cells (e.g., within-cell signaling with calcium, redox state, and reactive oxygen species) were likely co-opted into mechanisms of development and conflict resolution in multicellular organisms (e.g., "second messenger" systems, between cell redox signalling and programmed cell death).