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Dr. Günter Blobel Presents to a Full House at FAU and Scripps Florida’s Nobel Laureate Lecture

BOCA RATON, FL (February   14, 2008)–Dr. Günter Blobel, a prolific cellular and molecular biologist and recipient of the 1999 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, presented his cutting-edge research to a full house at the recent “2008 Distinguished Nobel Laureate Lecture” at Florida Atlantic University. The event, co-presented by FAU and Scripps Florida, attracted students, faculty, researchers, physicians and members of the public who were interested in learning first-hand about Blobel’s groundbreaking research on the inner workings of the cell. Also in attendance was Sir Harold Kroto, the Francis Eppes Professor of Chemistry at Florida State University, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1996.

Blobel has spent years investigating and learning how proteins are delivered to their proper location to perform their specific function. He hypothesized and proved that each protein has a sequence in it—a code—which acts as a “zip code” directing the protein to the proper location or cellular address within the cell. Blobel’s research is vital to helping understand what is wrong with cancer cells, what the AIDS virus or Alzheimer’s disease does to cells, and how to develop drugs to combat these and other diseases.

“This was truly an enlightening day for Florida Atlantic University,” said Dr. Ramaswamy Narayanan, associate dean for research and industrial relations in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science at FAU and co-chair of the event. “Many of our science graduate students had the opportunity to speak face-to-face with Dr. Blobel who inspired them to continue their passion and intense curiosity for the sciences.”

The 2008 Distinguished Nobel Laureate Lecture helped to promote Florida’s biotechnology initiative to galvanize academia and industry collaborations to illustrate the power and possibilities of science and technology.

Narayanan co-chaired the event with Dr. William R. Roush, professor of chemistry and associate dean of the Kellogg School of Science and Technology, The Scripps Research Institute.   

Sponsors of the 2008 Distinguished Nobel Laureate Lecture included Scripps Florida, Boca Raton Community Hospital, the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, the law firm of Carey Rodriguez Greenberg Paul, Healthcare District of Palm Beach County, Holy Cross Hospital, Katholieke Universitiét Leuven, the law firm of Ruden McClosky, University MRI, Workforce Alliance, the Florida Bioinformatics Consortium at FAU, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science, the Barry Kaye College of Business, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Dorothy F. Schmidt   College of Arts & Letters, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at FAU and the Lifelong Learning Society at FAU.

- FAU -

Florida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serv es more than 26,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses strategically located along 150 miles of Florida's southeastern coastline. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts ten colleges:  College of Architecture, Urban & Public Affairs, Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science, the Barry Kaye College of Business, the College of  Education, the College of  Engineering & Computer Science, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Graduate College,   the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science.  

The Scripps Research Institute is one of the world's largest independent, non-profit biomedical research organizations, at the forefront of basic biomedical science that seeks to comprehend the most fundamental processes of life. Scripps Research is internationally recognized for its discoveries in immunology, molecular and cellular biology, chemistry, neurosciences, autoimmune, cardiovascular, and infectious diseases, and synthetic vaccine development. Established in its current configuration in 1961, it employs approximately 3,000 scientists, postdoctoral fellows, scientific and other technicians, doctoral degree graduate students, and administrative and technical support personnel. Scripps Research is headquartered in La Jolla, California. It also includes Scripps Florida, whose researchers focus on basic biomedical science, drug discovery, and technology development. Currently operating from temporary facilities in Jupiter, Scripps Florida will move to its permanent campus in 2009.

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