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UC Riverside Spider Silk Expert to Speak at TED Conference


UC Riverside Biologist Is Invited Speaker at TED Conference

Cheryl Hayashi’s presentation will focus on spiders and their silks

(January 29, 2010)

Cheryl Hayashi is a professor of biology at UC Riverside and an internationally renowned spider silk expert. Photo credit: UCR Strategic Communications.Enlarge

Cheryl Hayashi is a professor of biology at UC Riverside and an internationally renowned spider silk expert. Photo credit: UCR Strategic Communications.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Biologist Cheryl Hayashi, who studies spider silk at the University of California, Riverside, has been invited to present her work at the prestigious TED Conference, held annually in Long Beach, Calif. The dates of this year’s TED Conference are Feb. 9-13. Hayashi’s talk on spiders and their silks is scheduled for Feb. 10.

She is one of about 50 speakers at TED2010. Other speakers include singer and activist Sheryl Crow; philanthropist Bill Gates; chef Jamie Oliver; neuroscientist and philosopher Sam Harris; comedian Sarah Silverman; autism activist Temple Grandin; and the writer Michael Specter. The complete list of TED2010 speakers can be found here.

TED, which covers topics in science, business, the arts and the global issues facing the world, started out in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: technology, entertainment, and design.

More than a thousand people attend TED Conferences, which sell out a year in advance.

Hayashi said she decided to participate in this year's conference because of the opportunity it gives her to interact closely with creative people from all walks of life.

“I look forward to hearing about their passions, to finding out what motivates them,” she said. “It’s worth our time, I think, to step outside of what we usually do, and expand our horizons. This conference also allows me to contribute to a larger conversation about discovery with scientists and non-scientists. I’m sure that the experience will be educational as well as energizing for me.”

Hayashi, a professor of biology, received her bachelor's and doctoral degrees in biology from Yale University. Named a MacArthur Fellow in 2007, she previously was a U.S. Presidential Scholar, National Merit Scholar, and recipient of both a Graduate Fellowship and Dissertation Improvement Grant from the National Science Foundation.

She joined the faculty at UCR in spring 2001. Since then, she has been the principal investigator on multiple grants from the National Science Foundation and the Army Research Office. Her scientific articles have appeared in such journals as Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and the Journal of Experimental Biology.

In addition to her teaching and research activities, Hayashi is dedicated to mentoring undergraduates, graduate students, and postdocs in her laboratory. A frequent contributor to newspaper, magazine, television, and radio interviews to explain the value of spider silk, biomaterials, and biodiversity to the public, Hayashi volunteers much of her time to educational and public outreach.

The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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