Where do medical drugs come from? On Wednesday, October 18, at 7:30 p.m. PT in Caltech's Beckman Auditorium, Hosea Nelson (PhD '13), professor of chemistry, will explore nature's role in the development of more than half of the disease treatments on the market today. In a public talk called "The Chemistry of Everything: Uncovering New Treatments in the Natural World" that kicks off the 101st season of the Watson Lectures, Nelson will discuss his research group's effort to develop new platforms for molecular discovery using advanced methods in electron microscopy.
"Human health is still one of the greatest problems we face as a species," says Nelson, whose research is focused on creating the next generation of tools for organic chemistry and discovering new natural products. "The best way to study life, especially if we want to think about ways to improve life and understand life, is in the context of chemistry. And nature itself is the world's greatest chemist."
Nelson earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry from UC Berkeley and a PhD in chemistry from Caltech, where he worked in the lab of Brian Stoltz, the Victor and Elizabeth Atkins Professor of Chemistry and a Heritage Medical Research Institute Investigator. Prior to joining the Institute in 2021, Nelson was an associate professor at UCLA. The Nelson Lab at Caltech is a multidisciplinary group of researchers who work on the development of new reactions and novel concepts in catalysis. Nelson and his team are also interested in using transmission electron microscopes to determine the structures of molecules that are important to chemistry and biology.
The Watson Lectures offer new opportunities each month to hear how Caltech's premier researchers are tackling society's most pressing challenges and inventing the technologies of the future. Join friends and neighbors outside Beckman Auditorium to enjoy food, drinks, and music together before each lecture. Interactive displays related to the evening's topic will give audience members additional context and information. The festivities start at 6:00 p.m. Guests are also encouraged to stay for post-talk coffee and tea, as well as the chance to converse with attendees and researchers.
Learn more about the Earnest C. Watson Lecture Series and its history at https://events.caltech.edu/series/watson
Watson Lectures are free and open to the public. Register online. A recording will be made available after the live event.