Fall 2017 Distinguished Lecture

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Nobel Laureate Thomas Cech (University of Colorado Boulder) gave the Fall 2017 Distinguished Lecture to an audience of over 300 people.

Cech is director of the University of Colorado BioFrontiers Institute and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. He shared the 1989 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Sidney Altman, for their discovery of the catalytic properties of RNA.  

Cech presented his lecture titled “The Ribonucleoprotein World: Telomerase, Epigenetic Switches, and Cancer”, on Monday, October 30, 2017 at the UCLA California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI).  Photos from the event are available below.  A video of his lecture can be viewed here.

At the lecture, Department Chair Professor Catherine Clarke gave the welcoming remarks and Professor Juli Feigon introduced Cech. A reception followed the lecture. In the afternoon, prior to his lecture, Cech had lunch with postdocs and graduate students from chemistry and biochemistry labs.

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Over 300 people attended Cech’s lecture at the California NanoSystems Institute.

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Faculty and students during the question and answer period.
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(Left) Department Chair Prof. Catherine Clarke presented Cech with an engraved crystal plaque.  (Right) Co-host Prof. Juli Feigon with Cech at the reception following the lecture.

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Cech speaks with graduate students at the reception.

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Before his lecture, postdocs and graduate students joined Cech for lunch at the UCLA Faculty Center – (from left) Dr. Lukas Susac (Feigon group), Dr. Steven Jonas (P Weiss group), Jason Gabunilas (Chanfreau group), Prof. Cech, Dr. Paul Seidler (Eisenberg group),  Zhongyue Yan (Houk group), and Dr. Yuan Yang (Feigon group). Photo courtesy of Dr. Steven Jonas.

About The Distinguished Lecture Series

The UCLA Chemistry & Biochemistry Distinguished Lecture Series is a department-wide colloquium in a special week once per quarter when there are no other seminars in our department. Since beginning this event three years ago, we have invited some of the world’s most accomplished and engaging people to speak – Frances Arnold (Caltech), Barry Honig (Columbia), Nobel Laureate Roger Kornberg (Stanford), Harry Gray (Caltech), Francois Diederich (ETH Zurich), Yi Lu (Illinois), Sharon Hammes-Schiffer (Illinois), JoAnne Stubbe (MIT), Douglas Rees (Caltech), Kimberly Prather (UCSD, Scripps), Jacqueline Barton (Caltech), and now Cech. Their lectures have consistently encouraged thought-provoking conversations and ideas. The Winter 2018 Distinguished Lecture by Dr. David Baker, Professor of Biochemistry, Director of the Institute for Protein Design, University of Washington, will take place on Friday, February 9, 2018, at 4:00 p.m. in the UCLA CNSI auditorium. Baker will give a lecture titled “The coming of age of de novo protein design”. The lectures are open to the public. While the research covered in the lectures is meant to appeal to a broad range of chemists and biochemists, the lectures also include a general introduction to the research for those who are further separated in research expertise.

Photos by Penny Jennings, UCLA Department of Chemiistry and BIochemistry.