Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry and Cell Biology James Benjamin “Jim” Walker died April 9 at the age of 90.
Walker joined the Rice faculty in 1964 and became a founding member of the Biochemistry Department when it was established in 1972. He was appointed professor emeritus in 1992. The James B. Walker Award for Outstanding Seniors in Biochemistry was established in his honor.
Walker received his B.S. in chemical engineering in 1943 from Rice Institute. He was the outstanding senior in his class in chemical engineering and was awarded membership in Phi Beta Kappa, Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Xi and Phi Lambda Upsilon.
His passion was his research, which included the mechanism of enzyme action and studies on antibiotic biosynthesis. He enjoyed supporting Rice University athletics by attending many football, basketball and baseball games.
Walker is survived by his wife of 56 years, Margaret; his daughter, Julie; his sons, James and Johnny; and his grandsons, Sage and Matthew.