Nobel Laureate Dr. Richard Roberts Delivers Special Lecture
Date of activity: March 2, 2015
The Institute of Medical Science (IMSUT) held a special lecture on March 2, 2015, inviting Dr. Richard Roberts, recipient of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. This special lecture was timed with Dr. Roberts’ visit to Japan, as he attended the Nobel Prize Dialogue Tokyo 2015, the first Nobel Prize Dialogue held outside Sweden (The Nobel Prize Dialogue, which has been held annually since 2012 in Sweden, is a symposium open to the public that is held during the period of the Nobel Prize Awards Ceremonies). In addition to the special lecture, a round-table discussion session, which invited students, was held as part of the Nobel Prize Inspiration Initiative by the Nobel Foundation (Nobel Media AB).
In the special lecture titled “Bacterial Methylomes,” Dr. Roberts introduced the results of his latest research on bacterial DNA methyltransferase. Currently, he is working on a comprehensive analysis of both the recognition sequence of DNA methyltransferase and the methylation status of the bacterial genome with the use of single molecule, real-time sequencing technology (SMRT) developed by Pacific Bioscience. Dr. Roberts made a presentation of his latest findings that these analyses would lead to the identification of new recognition sequences by DNA methyltransferase and the clarification of their biological functions. After the lecture, the round-table discussion was held, which featured participation from faculty members, postdocs and graduate students of IMSUT and the Department of Medical Genome Sciences at the Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, as well as graduate students from Sophia University in Tokyo. The session provided a very good opportunity for participant students to ask the Nobel laureate questions at a close distance. Dr. Roberts talked not only about his research but also about various topics, including his childhood when he came to have interest in science, his visions as a researcher and career advice for graduate students after graduation. The special lecture was attended by 115 faculty members, postdocs and graduate students mainly from the University of Tokyo. After the lecture, a reception was held at Tommy Hall to facilitate interaction among participants.