Dr. Henricus “Harry” Hogenkamp, a prominent vitamin B-12 resarcher, was recruited to the University of Minnesota to serve as head of the Department of Biochemistry in the Medical School in 1976. He held this position until 1992 and retired in 2000.
Dr. Henricus Hogenkamp begins his interview by describing his early life in the Netherlands and his immigration to Canada. He then discusses his decision to attend the University of British Columbia and the University of California at Berkley, his work at the Fisheries Research Board of Canada, and his time at the University of Iowa. Dr. Hogenkamp goes on to describe his recruitment to the University of Minnesota as head of the Department of Biochemistry in the Medical School, his work with B-12, teaching in the AHC, funding within the AHC, and relations with other schools in the health sciences and in the University. He also reflects on the leadership of Neal Gault and David Brown as deans of the Medical School, his committee work, his time on journal editorial boards, research he conducted in Germany through the Humboldt Foundation, and the longer history of B-12. He concludes with a discussion of the changes in relations and structure of the Department of Biochemistry in the Medical School and the Department of Biochemistry in the College of Biological Sciences.
Henricus “Harry” Hogenkamp was born in the Netherlands in 1925. He served in the Dutch Army during the Indonesian War of Independence. In 1950, he returned to the Netherlands and went to an agricultural school, earning a certificate in tropical agriculture. He and his wife married in 1953 and immigrated to Canada. He worked in a warehouse for a year before applying to the University of British Columbia. He earned a bachelor’s in 1957 and a master’s in 1958 from UBC. He then earned his Ph.D. in 1961 and worked as a research biochemist at the University of California at Berkley. In 1962, he became an associate scientist at the Fisheries Research Board of Canada. In 1963, he moved back to the United States and became a professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Iowa. During his time at Iowa, he was a visiting professor at the John Curtain School of Medical Research at Australian National University and a guest scientist at the Los Alamos Scientific Lab at the University of California. In 1976, he moved to the University of Minnesota’s Medical School to serve as head of the Department of Biochemistry. Dr. Hogenkamp’s research chiefly involved understanding the bioorganic mechanisms of vitamin B-12. He served as head of the Department until 1992 and retired in 2000.