Joseph Priestley Lecture
Professor Joan Steitz will present Dickinson's annual Joseph Priestley Lecture, named in memory of the
discoverer of oxygen, on Thursday, April 18 at 7 p.m. in the Anita Tuvin
Schlechter (ATS) Auditorium. The event, titled "Lupus and Snurps: Bench to
Bedside and Back Again," is free and open to the public.
discuss her breakthrough cell-splicing research, her 1979 discovery of
nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs)—or snurps—and its application to disease
treatment. Her talk will trace the origins of understanding how small
cellular particles contribute to the critical process of splicing and relate
this knowledge to today's quest for treatment of diseases such as
Steitz is the Sterling Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale. She attended a graduate program at Harvard University and
received her Ph.D. under the guidance of famed scientist Jim Watson,
co-discoverer of the DNA double-helix structure.
Steitz will receive
Dickinson's Joseph Priestley Award for 2013. She received the National Medal of
Science in 1986 and the RNA Society of Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004; she has received more than a dozen honorary degrees. Steitz is an investigator of
the Howard Hughes Medical Institute a member of the American Academy of
Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and the National
Academy of Sciences.
The Priestley Award is presented by Dickinson
College in memory of Joseph Priestley, discoverer of oxygen, to a
distinguished scientist whose work has contributed to the welfare of
humanity. First presented in 1952, the award recognizes outstanding
achievement and contribution to our understanding of science and the
The event is sponsored by Student Senate and The Clarke Forum for
Contemporary Issues. It is cosponsored by the Departments of biology, chemistry, psychology, earth sciences, physics & astronomy and environmental studies.
Audio and video of past Clarke Forum events are available through Clarke Forum podcasts. Podcasts of numerous college speakers as well as course podcasts also are available via Dickinson’s iTunes U channel.