Joseph Priestley Lecture

Prof. Joan Steitz to give Priestley Lecture.

Yale University 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.

Steitz will 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 lupus.

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 world.

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.

Published April 18, 2013