Alfred Nobel was a genius and a keen practitioner of many fields, including chemistry, physics, physiology/medicine and literature, which comprise four of the prestigious Nobel Prizes awarded each year since 1901. There is also a rich history of the chemical elements being a key part of the prize citation, starting as early as Marie Curie. This talk covers the history of Alfred Nobel and how he, his father and brothers developed their famous explosive that made Nobel company and Alfred extremely wealthy and famous. However the interesting, sometimes sad part of this history, is how Alfred came about to propose and write in his will the details of these prizes. Prof. Berliner, who teaches a course on the Nobel Prize to entering freshman undergraduate students at the University of Denver, gives both personal and sensitive insight to its mystique and fame. His lecture will bring in an Australian perspective in the contributions that Australian scholars have made to earn several Nobel prizes. Time permitting, the politics and potential mistakes made by the various Nobel committees over the years will be discussed.

Prof. Lawrence J Berliner (Dept of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Denver, USA)

Prof Berliner is one of the pioneers in protein structural and molecular diagnostic technique research starting at Stanford University, then Ohio State University and now at the University of Denver and the Graduate Toxicology Program, Univ. of Colorado School of Pharmacy. His team was the first to develop thiol specific spin labels, which became the basis of Site Directed Spin Labeling (SDSL) for studying membrane protein structure and other proteins that cannot be crystallized. His other research has involved protein-protein interactions in blood coagulation, serine proteases and lactose biosynthesis in the mammary lumen. He is a fellow of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Chemical Society, President of the International EPR Society and has received prestigious awards in his field, including the 2000 Silver Medal for Biology/Medicine of the International EPR Society and the 2005 Lifetime Achievement Award in Biological EPR Spectroscopy. He is Editor in Chief of Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics and Associate Editor of The Protein Journal and has edited over 30 books on the subject of magnetic resonance applications to biology and was the founding editor of the Biological Magnetic Resonance series. His other interest is in undergraduate teaching, particularly small seminar courses, where he became a "student" of the history and mystique of the Nobel Prize. He has also been fortunate to have personally known several Laureates, including two classmates in graduate school including one in his PhD supervisor's research group.

About CAI Seminar Series

The perfect opportunity to attend cutting-edge research presentations involving CAI researchers or collaborators, each Tuesday at 9:30am in the CAI Seminar Room, entry via CAI main doors, facing Wep Harris oval (see map).

If you would like weekly email notification for the seminar series or are interested in presenting, please contact Dr Lorine Wilkinson.


The Centre for Advanced Imaging, Bldg 57
Level 2 Seminar Room

Other upcoming sessions