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  • David Baltimore in a laboratory
    David Baltimore
    Credit: Bob Paz
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BBE, biology
02/23/2018 08:35:42

Symposium to Honor Former Caltech President and Nobelist

A scientific symposium will be held on Friday, March 23, 2018, in honor of David Baltimore, president emeritus and recipient of the 1975 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. The event is free and open to the public.

On Friday, March 23, 2018, a celebration and scientific symposium will be held in honor of the 80th birthday of David Baltimore, president emeritus and Robert Andrews Millikan Professor of Biology. This symposium is free and open to the public. Registration is required for the event, which includes lunch. 

The symposium consists of nine speakers presenting their own research as well as two panels moderated by Baltimore that will focus on the topics of institutional leadership and challenges in biotechnology.

The speakers are acclaimed biologists from across the country with decades of research experience studying cancer, HIV, and immunology. The speakers include Ellen Rothenberg, Albert Billings Ruddock Professor of Biology, who will give a talk titled "Genomic control and the construction of T-cell identity." In another talk, Baltimore laboratory graduate student Luke Frankiw will discuss how a particular protein affects the response of an immune cell to a virus.

"This will be a coming together of David's academic family, which consists of about 250 doctoral students, postdoctoral fellows, and visiting professors who have been through his laboratory as well as friends from science, academia, biotechnology, and finance," says Alice Huang, senior faculty associate in biology and co-organizer of the symposium. "We are looking forward to hearing about some outstanding scientific research as well as enjoying a terrific reunion."

In 1975, Baltimore received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery that viruses with genomes consisting of RNA can copy that RNA into DNA and then insert that DNA into the DNA of the host cell. The discovery that information in RNA can be transferred to DNA modified the central dogma of biology—that information flowed only in one direction, from DNA to RNA to protein. This led to Baltimore sharing the prize with former Caltech faculty member Renato Dulbecco and Howard Temin (PhD '60).

From 1997 to 2006, Baltimore served as Caltech's seventh president.

A full list of speakers for the symposium, along with registration details, can be found here: https://register.caltech.edu/baltimore80/program

Written by Lori Dajose