DNA Expert, President of University of Michigan, Fiction and Non-fiction Writers to Speak at Yale

The following talks at Yale University Dec. 1-10 are free and open to the public, unless noted otherwise.

Regulating gene expression is topic of Kirkwood Medalist’s talk

Peter B. Dervan, the Bren Professor of Chemistry at California Institute of Technology, will deliver the Kirkwood Lecture on Tuesday, Dec. 1, at 4 p.m. in Rm. 110 of the Sterling Chemistry Laboratory, 225 Prospect St. His topic is “Regulation of Gene Expression by Synthetic DNA Binding Ligands.”

Dervan will receive the Kirkwood Medal during his visit to Yale. The Medal, jointly supported by the New Haven section of the American Chemical Society and Yale’s chemistry department, is conferred for “outstanding research contributions, theoretical or experimental, in the physical sciences.”

Dervan has created a new field of bioorganic chemistry with his studies of the chemical principles for the sequence-specific recognition of DNA. This non-biological approach to DNA recognition underpins the design of cell-permeable molecules for the regulation of gene expression in vivo, and could have profound implications for human medicine.

Since 1974, Dervan has been a member of the faculty at Cal Tech, where he is also chair of the division of chemistry and chemical engineering. His honors include the Harrison Howe, Arthur C. Cope and Remsen awards, the Willard Gibbs and Nichols medals and the Maison de la Chimie Foundation Prize.

University of Michigan president to deliver Elliot Lecture

University of Michigan president Lee C. Bollinger will deliver the Law School’s 1998 Ralph Gregory Elliot Lecture on Tuesday, Dec. 1, at 4:30 p.m. in Rm. 127 of the Law School, 127 Wall St. His talk is titled “ ‘A Lonely Impulse of Delight’: Public Cultural Institutions and Democracy.”

Bollinger became the 12th president of the University of Michigan in 1996. He had been provost of Dartmouth College and professor of government there for two years, and had served for seven years as dean of the University of Michigan Law School. His primary teaching and scholarly interests have focused on free speech and first amendment issues, and he has published numerous books, articles and essays on these and other subjects. His books include “Images of a Free Press” and “The Tolerant Society: Freedom of Speech and Extremist Speech in America.”

A graduate of the University of Oregon and Columbia Law School, Bollinger served as a law clerk for Judge Wilfred Feinberg on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and for Chief Justice Warren Burger on the United States Supreme Court. He first joined the faculty at the University of Michigan Law School in 1973. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Master’s tea will feature award-winning author

Joanna Scott, professor of English at the University of Rochester and fiction writer, will be the guest at a tea on Wednesday, Dec. 2, at 4:30 p.m. at the Calhoun College master’s house, 189 Elm St.

Scott was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction in 1996 for her novel “The Manikin.” In 1995, her book “Various Antidotes” was a finalist for the PEN-Faulkner Award and won The Southern Review Prize for a Collection of Short Fiction. Scott’s other works include the novels “Arrogance,” “The Closest Possible Union” and “Fading, My Parmacheene Belle,” as well as the forthcoming novel “Strangers.” Her stories have appeared in The Paris Review, The Missouri Review, The Iowa Review and The Yale Review, as well as “Best American Short Stories of 1993.”

Scott was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 1992 and has received numerous other prizes for her short fiction, including the Rochester Writer’s Award from Writers and Books, the Pushcart Prize, a National Magazine Award, the Aga Khan Award and the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Award from the American Academy-Institute of Arts and Letters. She has been teaching at the University of Rochester since 1987 and has served as a judge for many writing competitions, including the PEN-Faulkner and PEN-Hemingway awards.

Biographer of Dean Acheson to speak about foreign affairs

James Chace, the former managing editor of Foreign Affairs magazine and current editor of the World Policy Journal, will speak on “Dean Acheson and American Foreign Policy” on Thursday, Dec. 3, 4-5:30 p.m. in Rm. 203 of Luce Hall, 34 Hillhouse Ave. The event is sponsored by U.N. Legal Studies and International Security Studies.

Chace, who is also the Henry Luce Professor in Freedom of Inquiry and Expression at Bard College, is author of a new biography titled “Acheson – the Secretary of State Who Created the American World.” The work investigates the role Acheson, a member of Yale’s Class of 1915, played in forming the architecture of American foreign policy in the post-World War II period. Chace notes that Acheson was a driving force behind the Truman Doctrine to contain the Soviet Union’s expansionism, the Marshall Plan to rebuild a war-devastated Europe and NATO, the military alliance designed to keep the Soviet Union out of Western Europe. Later in his career, Acheson headed a group of elder statesmen advising President Lyndon Johnson on the Vietnam War; his eventual opposition to the war helped persuade Johnson that support for his policy had fatally eroded.

Despite Acheson’s noted career, Chace says that as a younger man the statesman “concluded that studying hard at Yale was unnecessary and became a committed bon vivant,” joining clubs called the Turtles, the Hogan and the Grill Room Grizzlies. For further information on the talk, contact Professor Ruth Wedgwood at 432-4946.

Physician to read scenes from acclaimed first novel

Dr. Mark Siegel, clinical professor of internal medicine at New York University Medical Center, will read scenes from his recent novel as part of a lecture titled “ ‘Bellevue’: Machinations of an Urban Hospital” at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 3, in the Beaumont Room of the School of Medicine, 333 Cedar St. The event is sponsored by the Program for Humanities in Medicine.

Siegel’s novel “Bellevue” is a portrait of life in an urban hospital, as seen through the eyes of intern Dr. David Levy.

Siegel did his own internship and residency at Bellevue Hospital. In addition to teaching at the New York University Medical Center, he maintains a private practice. He has written numerous articles for magazines and newspapers.

Wesleyan scholar/author to speak about writing memoirs

“On Publishing a Memoir: Going Public with Your Own Life –And Who Knows Who Else’s” is the title of a talk being presented on Thursday, Dec. 3, by Phyllis Rose, professor of English at Wesleyan University and author. Her talk, sponsored by the Muriel Gardiner Program in Psychoanalysis and the Humanities, is at 8 p.m. in Rm. 208 of the Whitney Humanities Center, 53 Wall St.

Rose is the author of the 1997 memoir, “The Year of Reading Proust,” as well as the biographies “Woman of Letters: A Life of Virginia Woolf” and “Jazz Cleopatra: Josephine Baker in Her Time.” Other works are “Parallel Lives: Five Victorian Marriages,” “Writing of Women: Essays in a Renaissance” and “Never Say Goodbye: Essays.” Her biography of Woolf was a finalist for the National Book Award. Rose, who was named a “Literary Lion” by the New York Public Library, was also a finalist for a National Book Critics’ Circle Citation for Excellence in Reviewing. Her book reviews and articles have appeared in major newspapers and magazines.

Rose is a member of the editorial board of The American Scholar and serves on the advisory board for The Wesleyan Writers’ Conference. She chaired the fiction panel for the National Book Awards in 1994.

NIH official will talk about effects of poverty, gaps in research

Norman Anderson, the first associate director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, will present two public talks during a visit to the campus on Thursday, Dec. 10.

His first lecture, titled “A Multi-level Framework for Bridging the Chasm Between Sociobehavioral and Biomedical Research: The Example of Socioeconomic Status & Health,” will take place 8:30-9:30 a.m. in the School of Medicine’s Fitkin Amphitheater, 333 Cedar St. His second lecture, “Long-Term Investments: The Health Effects of Poverty on Children, Youth and Family,” will take place 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in Winslow Auditorium of the Laboratory of Epidemiology and Public Health, 60 College St. The talks are sponsored by Dr. Jeannette Ickovics and the department of epidemiology and public health.

As director of the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, Anderson facilitates research in his field across all of the 24 institutes, centers and divisions that comprise the NIH. He is an associate professor at Duke University, where he directs the Program on Health, Behavior and Aging in Black Americans. His primary research interest is the problem of high blood pressure in African Americans, especially the question of how social, psychological, behavioral and biological factors affect blood pressure. Anderson serves as president of the Society of Behavioral Medicine and has received national awards for his research.

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Media Contact

Gila Reinstein: gila.reinstein@yale.edu, 203-432-1325