Tony Tu, Colorado State University professor of biochemistry and a leading researcher in rattlesnake venom, recently donated $10,000 to the Colorado State Morgan Library Endowment Fund and $10,000 to the department of biochemistry and molecular biology.
Tu, who will retire this summer, said he made the donation in appreciation of the 31 years he spent at the university.
"In presenting this gift to Morgan Library and Colorado State, Dr. Tu showed leadership and a commitment that will reach beyond his years as a distinguished faculty member," said Camila Alire, dean of University Libraries. "His gift to the library will help us reach our endowment goals sooner, and we’re grateful for his support."
Norman Curthoys, chairman of the department of biochemistry and molecular biology, said the gift will be used to improve the undergraduate resource room within the department.
"Tony sustained a very productive career over the years he was here," Curthoys said. "He is one of only a handful of people to have received a National Merit Award from the National Institutes of Health, which is presented to people who have made outstanding contributions to their fields."
Over the course of his career at Colorado State, Tu received a total of $5.5 million in research grants. He was instrumental in investigating the use of rattlesnake venom for anti-coagulants and headed a team in the mid-1990s that studied ways to battle heart attacks and strokes using snake venom.
After retiring, Tu will continue research in muscle-damaging toxins and will advise graduate and post-doctoral students at Colorado State. In August, he will chair an international symposium on natural toxins by the American Chemical Society in Boston, and in September he will travel to Bangkok to conduct another conference he helped organize on natural toxins.
In addition, Tu plans to finish writing a book in Japanese on toxicology for publication early next year. The book will be added to his oeuvre of 30 books that cover a range of toxicological studies and other specialized topics.
Tu was born in Taipei, Taiwan, and received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry at National Taiwan University in 1953, a master’s degree in chemistry at Notre Dame in 1956 and a doctoral degree in chemistry and biochemistry at Stanford University in 1961. He did postdoctoral work in biochemistry at Yale University School of Medicine from 1961-1962.
He joined Colorado State in 1967.