"The joy of what I do is that I love solving problems, scientific
that is. It is a mental challenge. When you are right, it is a high."
So Marc Freeman '65 summarizes his last 40 years of study, research
and teaching in the field of reproductive endocrinology. Marc presently
is a Distinguished Research Professor and the Lloyd M. Beidler Professor
of Biology and Neuroscience at Florida State University, and continues
active research with three grants from the National Institutes of
After Moravian, where Marc recalls receiving a great liberal arts
education, he went to West Virginia University to become an ecologist.
"I hated it, but found a course in endocrinology that captivated
my interest beyond imagination"--so much so that he found a
graduate program in reproductive endocrinology at WVU and became
its first Ph.D. student. With a burning passion, he spent 18-hour
days in pursuit of his doctorate and continued with a postdoctoral
fellowship at Emory Medical School with a rising superstar, Professor
Jimmy Neill (now retired). While there, he states he "accidentally
made an amazing discovery in neuroscience and my career has been
meteoric." He discovered how an area of the brain uniquely
controlled the secretion of prolactin from the pituitary gland.
In 1972 he accepted an assistant professorship at Florida State
and promised his wife, Louise Anderson Freeman (formerly of Salisbury,
Md.) they would only be there for three years. Thirty-three years
later, he continues his devoted research in a fascinating field.
He has published a long list of articles and has received many awards,
including the Research Career Development Award from the National
Institutes of Health, and he was designated a fellow of the American
Association for the Advancement of Science. Florida State University
has bestowed a Professorial Excellence Award as well.
His many NIH grants through the years have led to the development
of scientific relationships with an international group of scholars
ranging from Hungary, Switzerland, and Italy to Brazil and others.
This has allowed Marc and Louise to travel frequently over the years
to many corners of the globe, usually on invitation from countries
visited. The Freemans have been in almost every eastern and western
European country, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, and New Zealand.
He shared the observation that he has never seen anything like the
poverty in China anywhere else. In the summer of 2004 the Freemans
visited much of the former Soviet Union, and had the opportunity
to visit Riga, Latvia, the town where Marc's maternal grandfather
was born and raised.
Marc admits to two irrational passions, Porsche sports cars (bought
his first in 1974 and four since then) and his dogs; two Labrador
retrievers and one Dalmatian. Though Louise and Marc have no children,
they consider their family the many graduate students he has trained
and then his dogs. Marc chuckles that he is scheduled to retire
at the end of 2007, but because he has NIH grants that will take
his team to 2010, he doesn't see retirement in the near future.