UW-Madison: Smithies Symposium brings neuroscience all-stars to UW-Madison

Three highly regarded neuroscientists – two Nobel Prize winners and a National Medal of Science winner – will be on campus Thursday, May 19, to discuss their research on brain function and dysfunction at the UW-Madison genetics department’s fourth annual Oliver Smithies Symposium.

The speakers are:

– Eric Kandel, a professor at Columbia University, who won the 2000 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his research on the physiological basis of memory storage in neurons. His talk, titled “We Are What We Remember: Memory and the Biological Basis of Individuality,” starts at 1:30 p.m.

– Susan Lindquist, a professor at the Whitehead Institute at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who was awarded the National Medal of Science in 2010. She is a pioneer in the study of protein folding in heat-shock proteins and prions. Her talk, “Prions, Hsp90 and the Evolution of Novelty,” starts at 2:30 p.m.

– Stanley Prusiner, director for the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases at the University of California, San Francisco, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1997 for his discovery of prions. Prusiner’s talk, “Madness and Memory,” starts at 3:30 p.m.

About 25 middle school and high school students from around Wisconsin, who will be on campus for the National Science Olympiad, will attend the symposium. Six of them have also been invited to attend pre-symposium luncheons with the speakers and Oliver Smithies, the symposium’s namesake and sponsor, who is a Nobel Laureate and former faculty member in the UW-Madison genetics department.

The symposium starts at 1:15 p.m. in the Ebling Symposium Center in the Microbial Sciences Building, 1550 Linden Drive. It is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Debra Rose at 608-516-3635 or [email protected].