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

  • Jun 22
    Harry Noller

    Exploring Biology’s Dark Matter: RNA
    Recognizing Harry Noller, winner of 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 ribosomes, the tiny structures of the cell that Noller calls the “mothership of life.” His insights are taking us right to the brink of understanding the very origins of life on the planet.

    From his unexpected discovery of the role RNA plays in the functioning of the ribosome has grown the world’s premier center for RNA research. The 16 research labs that comprise the UC Santa Cruz Center of Molecular Biology of RNA are forging new discoveries in the treatment of diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and cancer and developing new technological tools to advance the sciences.

    Noller will be joined on stage by three Center researchers, Jeremy Sanford, Susan Carpenter, and Daniel Kim, who will discuss their work in the frontiers of molecular biology and the implications of RNA research on treating diseases and saving lives.

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

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  • May 16
    Mark Akeson

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

    Akeson is a professor of Biomolecular Engineering at UC Santa Cruz. He earned his B.A. in History from UC San Diego, and his Ph.D. in Soil Microbiology from UC Davis, then came to UCSC following a post-doctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health. Akeson is one of the pioneers of nanopore sequencing and leads the UC Santa Cruz nanopore group. The nanopore group has made important advances in nanopore sequencing technology by analyzing DNA molecules directly from the nucleus of eukaryotic cells. Nanopore technology brings modern genomics out of the lab and into the field—think Ebola or Zika outbreaks—with tremendous potential for human health.

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

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  • Mar 22
    Jonathan Fortney

    Jonathan Fortney: How Common is the Earth? The Discovery and Characterization of Rocky Planets Around Other Stars

    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

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Each lecture will be videotaped and archived here.

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