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Chalfie To Present 34th Nobel Laureate Lecture April 10

Published: April 2, 2012

Columbia University Professor Martin Chalfie, co-winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize in chemistry, will present the 34th Nobel Laureate Lecture on Tuesday, April 10, hosted by the CSULB College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Student Council.

He will deliver a general lecture on “GFP: Lighting Up Life,” from 11 a.m. to noon, followed by a technical lecture on “Neurogenetics in C. elegans: Differentiation, Neural Circuitry and Mechanosensation,” from 4 to 5 p.m., both in the University Student Union Ballrooms. The presentations are free to the public.

Chalfie is the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Biological Sciences and former chair of the Department of Biological Sciences at Columbia University. In 2008, he shared the Nobel Prize in chemistry with Osamu Shimomura and Roger Y. Tsien for his introduction of green fluorescent protein (GFP) as a biological marker.

A native of Chicago, he obtained his A.B. and Ph.D. from Harvard University and then did postdoctoral research at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England. He joined the faculty of Columbia University in 1982.

He uses the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to investigate nerve cell development and function, concentrating primarily on genes used in mechanosensory neurons. His research has been directed toward answering two quite different biological questions: How do different types of nerve cells acquire and maintain their unique characteristics, and how do sensory cells respond to mechanical signals? In the course of his studies, he has introduced several novel biological methods in addition to his work with GFP, which stands for green fluorescent protein.

Chalfie is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Royal Society of Chemistry. He shared the 2006 Lewis S. Rosenstiel Award for Distinguished Work in Basic Medical Science from Brandeis University and the 2008 E. B. Wilson Medal from the American Society for Cell Biology with Roger Tsien.

Martin Chalfie
Martin Chalfie

The Nobel Laureate Lecture is co-sponsored by the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Dean’s Office, CSULB President’s Office and Associated Students Inc.

For more information, contact Linda Sherwood at 562/985-2716.

–Anne Ambrose