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Nobel Work Subject of Talks

UCR Professors Give Public Talks Explaining Nobel Prize Work

Free, Public Presentations Discuss the Impact of 2004 Nobel Prize Work

(January 21, 2005)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — — Professors from UC Riverside will explain why the 2004 Nobel Prize recipients’ work merited recognition in the fields of physiology-medicine, economics, physics, literature, peace and chemistry. The presentations, which are free and open to the public, are scheduled from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Monday, Jan. 24 in Room B118 of Bourns Hall. For details, call Dallas Rabenstein at (951) 827-4302. Parking at UCR costs $6 per vehicle per day and can be purchased for shorter periods.

The presentations will be for a general audience, and will be by faculty who are experts in the research or creative activities being honored by the Nobel Prize.

  • Professor of Chemistry Thomas H. Morton will discuss the work of Richard Axel and Linda Buck who were awarded the prize in Physiology / Medicine for discoveries of odor receptors and the organization of the olfactory system. They discovered a large gene family, comprised of some 1,000 different genes (3 percent of our genes) that give rise to an equivalent number of olfactory receptor types.

  • Professor of Economics Jang-Ting Guo will introduce the work of Finn E. Kydland and Edward C. Prescott, who received the Nobel Economics Prize, for their contributions to dynamic macroeconomics. In a highly innovative way, they have analyzed the design of economic policy and the driving forces behind business cycles. Their work has transformed economic research, but has also profoundly influenced the practice of economic policy in general, and monetary policy in particular.

  • Professor of Physics Jose Wudka will discuss the research of David Gross, H. David Politzer and Frank Wilczek who were awarded the prize in Physics for their discovery of asymptotic freedom in the theory of the strong interaction. Their discovery has made it possible to complete the Standard Model of Particle Physics, the model that describes the smallest objects in Nature and how they interact. At the same time it constitutes an important step in the effort to provide a unified description of all the forces of Nature, regardless of the spatial scale — from the tiniest distances within the atomic nucleus to the vast distances of the universe.

  • Professor of Comparative Literature Sabine Doran will discuss the work of Elfriede Jelinek who received the Nobel Prize in Literature for her musical flow of voices and counter-voices in novels and plays that with extraordinary linguistic zeal reveal the absurdity of society’s clichés and their subjugating power. The nature of Jelinek’s texts is often hard to define. They shift between prose and poetry, incantation and hymn; they contain theatrical scenes and filmic sequences. The primacy in her writing has however moved from novel writing to drama.

  • Professor of Anthropology and Chair in the Department of Women’s Studies, Christine Gailey will discuss the contributions of Wangari Maathai to sustainable development, democracy and peace. Maathai received the Peace Prize. Maathai is at the forefront of the fight to promote ecologically viable social, economic and cultural development in Kenya and throughout Africa. She has taken a holistic approach to sustainable development that embraces democracy, human rights and women's rights in particular. Maathai has courageously stood against the oppressive practices of the former regime in Kenya.

  • Professor of Biochemistry Michael Dunn will introduce the work of Aaron Ciechanover, Avram Hershko and Irwin Rose who were awarded the prize in Chemistry for their discovery of ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation. They have contributed groundbreaking chemical knowledge of how the cell can regulate the presence of a certain protein by marking unwanted proteins with a label consisting of the polypeptide ubiquitin. Proteins so labeled are then broken down — degraded — rapidly in cellular “waste disposers” called proteasomes.

The University of California, Riverside ( 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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