Nobel Prize Winner Speaker at First Year Matters Program

Posted 02/27/08
Nobel Prize winner and University of Massachusetts Medical School professor Craig C. Mello, Ph.D, pictured at left, will be presenting a lecture as part of Wesleyan’s First Year Matters program. The talk, titled “Return to the RNAi World: Rethinking Gene Expression, Evolution and Medicine,” will begin at 5:15 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28, in Shanklin 107.

The event is free and open to the public.

Mello and his colleague Andrew Fire, Ph.D, of Stanford University, were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for 2006 for their discoveries related to RNA interference (RNAi).

“We are excited and honored that Dr. Mello has accepted an invitation to speak with our community about the discovery of RNAi, and its impact on the study of disease, medicine and society,” says Sarah Lazare, associate dean of Student Academic Resources and director of First Year Matters.

“Dr. Mello and his work fit perfectly into First Year Matters’ theme: Legacy and Impact. By providing students with the opportunity to speak directly with a Nobel Laureate it reminds them that their own engagement in academic endeavors has the potential to impact and change the world,” Lazare says.

Mello is the Blais University Chair in Molecular Medicine at the medical school. He was also designated an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) in 2000. HHMI is a $13 billion medical research organization that employs more than 350 eminent researchers at 72 medical schools, universities and research institutes worldwide.

There will be a reception following Mello’s presentation. The event is sponsored by the Office of the Dean of the College, Academic Affairs, Departments of Biology, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and the Career Resource Center.

By Corrie Balash Kerr, associate director of media relations