U of L, BCC to host DNA pioneer
James Graham Brown Cancer Center sponsors James Watson appearances during Derby Week
James D. Watson, Ph.D., winner of the 1962 Nobel Prize with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins for the discovery of the double helical structure of DNA, will be part of several events surrounding the Derby thanks to the James Graham Brown Cancer Center.
The Kentucky Derby always brings the best and brightest to Louisville, and this year welcomed one of the most brilliant stars in medical research.
James D. Watson, Ph.D., winner of the 1962 Nobel Prize with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins for the discovery of the double helical structure of DNA, was part of several events surrounding the Derby thanks to the James Graham Brown Cancer Center.
"We are very fortunate to have one of the world's most revered scientists joining us for this occasion," Donald Miller, M.D., Ph.D., director of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, said. "Dr. Watson has inspired thousands of successful scientists and has had a huge impact on the development of science over the past 60 years."
Dr. Watson led off his visit by presenting "Curing Incurable Cancer" Thursday, May 5 at the Brown Theater.
Following his lecture, Watson had lunch with the Brown Fellows, a group of University of Louisville and Centre College freshmen and sophomores. The James Graham Brown Foundation administers the program.
"The University of Louisville is an exciting place to be these days," U of L President Dr. James Ramsey said. "This is an uncommon opportunity for our students and our community to see and hear one of the greatest scientific pioneers of our time. The University of Louisville is proud to make this opportunity available."
Watson also participated in the awarding of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center Scientist of the Year Award, presented annually on Derby Eve at the Julep Ball to a cancer center researcher for exceptional work. This year, the Julep Ball was held Friday, May 6 at the Galt House Hotel and Suites.
More than 50 years after Crick, Watson and Wilkins published their work showing the structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), their discovery still stands as one of the world's greatest scientific breakthroughs. By identifying what had been the elusive picture of DNA, they enabled future scientists to make great strides in understanding the human genome and the importance of DNA to life.