Nobel Prize laureate to speak at UT; RSVPs due March 11

March 10, 2014 | Events, Research, UToday, Medicine and Life Sciences, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, UTMC
By Samantha Watson

In 2007, Dr. Mario Capecchi received a Nobel Prize for his work in genetics. On Monday, March 17, he’s coming to The University of Toledo.



Capecchi, the Distinguished Professor of Human Genetics and Biology at the University of Utah School of Medicine, will give two lectures at UT Tuesday and Wednesday, March 18 and 19.

“Dr. Capecchi is not only a skilled scientist, but also a brilliant educator and speaker,” said Dr. Akira Takashima, professor and chair of the UT Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology. “I think those who attend his lectures at UT will be inspired by the work that he’s done throughout his life.”

Capecchi’s free, public lecture on Tuesday, March 18, will begin with a reception at 5:15 p.m. in the Collier Building Lobby. His talk, “The Making of a Scientist — An Unlikely Journey,” will begin at 6 p.m. in Collier Building Room 1050. He will discuss the triumphs and tribulations he experienced on his path to becoming who he is today and discuss the importance of science in our society.

“This lecture is meant to stimulate people into wanting to go into science and why I think science is fun,” Capecchi said. “What makes science seem hard is jargon. If you strip out the jargon, what we do really isn’t that complicated.”

Capecchi won the Nobel Prize along with Sir Martin Evans and Dr. Oliver Smithies for their work with gene targeting in mouse embryo-derived stem cells. This research could lead not only to better management, but also to cures for every known human disease.

On Wednesday, March 19, Capecchi will give a University Distinguished Lecture to scientists and academics about his work with genetics. The reception will begin at 8 a.m. in the lobby of the Health Education Building, and at 8:30 a.m. Capecchi will present his lecture, “Gene Targeting Into the 21st Century: Mouse Models of Human Diseases From Cancer to Neuropsychiatric Disorders.”

All are welcome to attend the lecture, though it is aimed toward a more scientific audience. The talk will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

“What I look forward to is lots of questions and interacting with the audience,” Capecchi said. “You can’t anticipate a question; they just pop out, and the wilder the better.”

Throughout his stay in Toledo, Capecchi will meet administrators, students and faculty in the departments of Medicine, Physiology and Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Cancer Biology, and Medical Microbiology and Immunology. He also will be a guest judge in the final round of oral and poster presentations for the 2014 Graduate Research Forum.

To RSVP for the March 18 public lecture, email or call 419.383.6122 by Tuesday, March 11.

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