Monday, October 23, 2006

Gairdner award lecture

Every year we look forward to the Gairdner award lectures, since the laureates are usually top notch scientists, and it's a preview to the Nobels. Ronald Evans was no exception, and he came to talk to us about "Nuclear Receptors: Metabolic Engineering and the Dawn of Synthetic Physiology". Basically his research involved PPAR receptors, and their importance in fat metabolism. In it he suggested it might be possible by gene transfer or pharmacological means to change the muscle physiology and metabolism to fight the obesity epidemic. If the lecture is coming in your neck of the woods, here's the bayblab rating as a preview:
  • Appeal of the topic: 10/10. Who doesn't enjoy discussing how fat americans are.
  • Analogies: 6/10. Definately pop-sci level analogies. Something about musical chairs. Usage of very bad puns. Somehow included pictures of his african safari into the talk.
  • Powerpoint: 9/10. I was disapointed by the lack of animation, but he makes up for it by including videos of mice running on treadmills. Mystery western blot pops-out in the end.
  • Delivery: 8/10. Mannaged a couple of jokes. His voice was soothing but he was animated enough to keep us interested. Purple stripped tie focused our attention on him.
  • Cookies: 0/10. No coffee or cookies. Big mistake in the afternoon.
Arbitrary rating: 82.37%


Bayman said...

I enjoyed both the lecture but would go with Tom Pollard's if I had to pick a favorite. Although the details of the subject (actin cytoskeleton and motility) are probably of less interest to me (probably just because his work is so fundamental you tend to take it for granted), you gotta give props to a guys who has spent his entire lengthy career studying 2 fundamental questions. Also for having the foresight to actually choose from the outset a question that could fuel research for that many years. Mostly though he was really sharp, enthusiastic, totally into his field, first principles oriented and spoke at a fast clip without repeating himself as a lot of speakers do!

rob said...

I agree with the bayman. Tom Pollard was awesome. I think I will actually remember some of the details that Dr. Pollard talked about even though it is way out of my field because it was so enthusiastic. With MOVIES!

Anonymous Coward said...

Can you guys post a short bayblab review for those of us who missed it :(