Nobel Laureate Seminar: Werner Arber PDF Print E-mail
Written by Matthias Voss   
Saturday, 25 September 2010 18:21

For this year's Special Seminar, the International Graduate Program "Protein Dynamics in Health and Disease" was pleased with the visit of Nobel Laureate Prof. Werner Arber (University of Basel, Switzerland) to Munich. Our group had the pleasure not only to listen to his lecture but also to talk to him about science and beyond.


To our pride and joy, this year's Special Seminar has been already the third of its kind. After the visit of Prof. Günther Blobel (Rockefeller University, New York-U.S.A.) in 2007 and Prof. Erwin Neher (MPI for Biohysical Chemistry, Göttingen-Germany) in 2008, we had the honor of hosting Prof. Werner Arber, who received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1978 together with Prof. Daniel Nathans and Prof. Hamilton Smith for the discovery of restriction enzymes and their application to problems of molecular genetics.

Almost as an established tradition by now, we not only have asked Prof. Arber to give a lecture but also to spend some leisure time with the members of our program. To our excitement, Prof. Arber together with his wife Antonia Arber joined our group for typical bavarian lunch at the restaurant "Orlando". Obviously enjoying the company of us students, Prof. Arber not only talked about his current occupations as an Emeritus Professor, but also about his vita and life as young scientist.
After this delightful lunch break, our group accompanied Prof. Arber to some informal meetings with LMU Professors, and for Mrs. Arber we organized a visit to an art exhibition about the work of Alfons Mucha in the Kunsthalle of the Hypo-Kulturstiftung.

Finally later in the afternoon, Prof. Arber gave a lecture on "Molecular Darwinism and the roles of evolution gene products" in course of the Special Seminar, that took place in the Lynen Lecture Hall of the LMU-Gene Center in Großhadern. The hall was crowded with scientists, who were fond of hearing what our special guest had to say about the hallmarks in classical as well as molecular genetics merging in today's modern research of molecular evolution. His talk greatly adressed scientific as well as philosophical aspects, which gave rise to an interesting round of discussion.

As Prof. Arber and his wife greatly appreciated our hospitality and truly enjoyed talking to students, they joined us for dinner in the Erdinger Weissbräu, Großhadern. There, Prof. Arber did not only disscuss with us about science, but also about the difficulties as well as amenities in a PhD student's life.

For us, meeting Prof. Arber was a great opportunity to get to know an outstanding scientist as well as truly modest and cheerful person in the same time. Indeed, listening to his lecture and talking to him personally was unforgettable and highly motivating experience.

As a closing remark, our group would like to thank again Prof. Arber and Mrs. Arber for their visit here in Munich and wish them all the best for their future.

P.S. A big thank you goes to Marta Blamowska and Anja Schüller, who organized this great and successful event!

D. Zimmermann

PhD student at the LMU Munich, Institute for Cell Biology (Schliwa Lab), and member of the International Graduate Program "Protein Dynamics in Health and Disease"

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 January 2011 15:57