Introducing the new Kraw Lecture Series on science and technology

The Kraw Lecture Series in Silicon Valley is made possible by a generous gift from UC Santa Cruz alumnus George Kraw (Cowell '71, history and Russian literature). The lecture series features acclaimed UC Santa Cruz scientists and technologists who are grappling with some of the biggest questions of our time.

These talks are free and open to the public

  • Mar 22
    Jonathan Fortney

    Jonathan Fortney: Sequencing DNA from Remote Villages to the Space Station: The Nanopore Revolution

    Fortney is an astrophysicist who focuses on understanding the structure and composition of planets in our solar system and "exoplanets" around other stars. He has been involved with NASA's Kepler spacecraft since its prime mission. He is also one of 15 principal investigators for a new NASA initiative, the Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS), which is a quest to find life on planets around other stars. Fortney is one of four new participating scientists NASA has chosen for the last phase of the Cassini Mission to Saturn, as the spacecraft dives between the planet's rings and its atmosphere to collect unprecedented data.

    UC Santa Cruz Silicon Valley Campus
    3175 Bowers Avenue, Santa Clara
    6 p.m. Reception
    7 p.m. Talk


  • May 16
    Mark Akeson

    Mark Akeson: Sequencing DNA from Remote Villages to the Space Station: The Nanopore Revolution

    Akeson is an adjunct associate professor of biomolecular engineering at UC Santa Cruz. He earned his Ph.D. in soil microbiology from UC Davis. Akeson leads the UC Santa Cruz nanopore group, which has spent years developing technology to analyze DNA strands as they pass through a tiny pore in a membrane, called a "nanopore" because it is just 1.5 nanometers wide at its narrowest point. His experiments involving the use of a bacterial toxin to examine the structure of nucleic acids have revealed details about HIV duplex DNA structure and dynamics that cannot be observed using other experimental approaches.

    UC Santa Cruz Silicon Valley Campus
    3175 Bowers Avenue, Santa Clara
    6 – 8 p.m.


  • Jun 22
    Harry Noller

    Harry Noller: Harry Noller and the RNA Center: Celebrating the 2017 Breakthrough Prize

    Noller, professor emeritus of molecular, cell, and developmental biology, recently received the 2017 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences for his discoveries about the ribosome, the tiny structure of the cell that Noller calls the “mothership of life.” Early on, working in relative isolation on the young campus of UC Santa Cruz gave him the freedom he needed—no experts to squelch his ideas or dispute the direction of his research. His insights are taking us right to the brink of understanding the very origins of life on the planet.

    Silicon Valley Capital Club
    50 W San Fernando Street, San Jose


Each lecture will be videotaped and archived here.

Questions? Contact UC Santa Cruz Special Events or (831) 459-5003.