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Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
901 South Bond Street, Suite 540
Baltimore, Maryland 21231
Phone: 443-287-9960 | Fax: 443-287-9920

October 13, 2005
CONTACT: Lisa De Nike
(443) 287-9960

Nobel Laureate to Speak at Johns Hopkins

Sir Paul Nurse, a British biologist who won the 2001 Nobel Prize in Medicine, will give the 2005 Thomas Hunt Morgan Lecture at The Johns Hopkins University on Thursday, Oct. 20.

The lecture will take place at 4:30 p.m. in the auditorium of Mudd Hall on the university's Homewood campus at 3400 N. Charles St. The lecture, which is part of the Pioneers in Biology Lecture Series, is free and open to the public and will be followed by a reception.

Now president of New York's Rockefeller University, Nurse shared the 2001 Nobel with fellow Briton Tim Hunt and American Leland Hartwell for their work on the key regulators of the cell cycle. His talk — "Cell Cycle Control in Fission Yeast" — will include a detailed discussion of his Nobel-winning work, which led to the discovery of the gene that controls cell division and continues to offer critical insight into the nature of cancer and other devastating diseases.

"It is a great honor to have Sir Paul take time out of his schedule to come and visit the graduate students here at Homewood," said Seamus Levine-Wilkinson, a graduate student in the Biology Department in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Pioneers in Biology, a group of graduate students that organizes both the Thomas Hunt Morgan Lectures and The Christian B. Anfinsen Lectures.

Described in a 2003 British newspaper article as "the David Beckham of science," Nurse is known for eschewing the usual lab-coated scientist image in favor of one that brings an aging rock star to mind. For example, when asked by a reporter how he would spend the million- dollar Nobel Prize, he announced plans to purchase a new, larger Kawasaki motorcycle. But Nurse is extremely serious about cancer research. He serves as Joint Director of Cancer Research UK, an organization that was formed when the Imperial Cancer Research Fund and The Cancer Research Fund joined forces in 2002.

The Pioneers in Biology was organized earlier this year to expose Johns Hopkins students to Nobel-caliber scientists not just through lectures, but also through more casual contact.

"Pioneers in Biology is unique because the speakers participate in several informal activities with the students, providing a significantly different experience for both parties," Levine-Wilkinson said. "After all, for the students, what could be better than eating crabs with a Nobel laureate, and for the guest lecturer, what could be more satisfying than getting to do something fun while visiting to give a talk? Sir Paul Nurse has lived the dream of many, if not all, graduate students. He has made fundamental discoveries that not only continue to guide exciting basic research around the world, but that have also offered critical insights into the nature of cancer. "

The Thomas Hunt Morgan lecture takes its name from a researcher who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1933. Morgan arrived at Johns Hopkins in 1886 to work in a then-young Biology Department. He earned his Ph.D. at the university in 1890 for work he did with sea spiders, and spent much of his career at Columbia University, where he won the Nobel.

For details about the Thomas Hunt Morgan Lecture and the Pioneers in Biology group, contact Levine-Wilkinson at slevin26@jhu.edu. Please note that, due to campus construction, the visitor's parking lot at Homewood has recently moved. Directions to the Homewood campus and parking information are available here: tinyurl.com/65pma.

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