Expert on Cell Surfaces to Deliver Lucy W. Pickett Lecture November 20

Carolyn R. Bertozzi will deliver Mount Holyoke's thirty-third annual Lucy W. Pickett lecture, “Chemistry and Biology at the Surfaces of Cells,” Monday, November 20.

Carolyn R. Bertozzi, associate professor of chemistry and molecular and cell biology at the University of California, Berkeley, will deliver Mount Holyoke's thirty-third annual Lucy W. Pickett lecture, “Chemistry and Biology at the Surfaces of Cells,” Monday, Novem- ber 20, at 5 pm in Cleveland Hall L-1. Refreshments will precede the lecture.

Bertozzi, who heads the department of chemical biology at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and is a member of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has been involved in research that spans the disciplines of chemistry and biology. Her lecture will address new strategies for engineering novel chemistry on cell surfaces. Such surfaces include groups of sugars linked together, which are crucial to the recognition of the cell by outside agents, says Mary K. Campbell, MHC's Class of 1929 Virginia Apgar Professor of Chemistry and chair of the chemistry department. Bertozzi's work on the modification of the cell surface, says Campbell, could one day lead to new diagnostic approaches and treatments. “Carolyn Bertozzi is one of the outstanding young scientists in the United States. Her work on the chemical biology of carbohydrates will lead to better ways of treating a number of diseases, including diabetes and arthritis.”

Upon her retirement, students, friends, and colleagues of Lucy Weston Pickett '25, a former member of MHC's chemistry department, established a lectureship in her name.

Bertozzi is on the editorial boards of Carbohydrate Research, the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, and Accounts of Chemical Research. She also serves on several scientific advisory boards for biotech and pharmaceutical companies, and is the cofounder of Thios Biotechnology, a start-up company in the Bay area. Her many awards include a MacArthur Foundational Fellowship, an ACS Award in Pure Chemistry, a Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering, and an Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award.

The lecture is named for Lucy Weston Pickett '25, a distinguished member of the MHC chemistry department from 1930 to 1968. Upon her retirement, students, friends, and colleagues established the lectureship in her name to honor outstanding women scientists. Pickett was one of the first two MHC professors to be named Mary Lyon Professor, a rank no longer used at the College. She also held the title of Camille and Henry Dreyfus Chair in Chemistry. She was the recipient of numerous fellowships, two of which led to study abroad at the Royal Institute in London and the University of Liege in Belgium. Her research in ultraviolet absorption spectroscopy of organic molecules was supported by grants from the Office of Naval Research, the National Science Foundation, the Petroleum Research Fund of the American Chemical Society, and other organizations. In 1957, Pickett was among three MHC faculty members, two of them alumnae, to receive the Francis P. Garvan Medal of the American Chemical Society, an award that recognizes distinguished service to chemistry by American women chemists. Pickett died November 23, 1997.

Previous Lucy W. Pickett lecturers have included Nobel laureates Robert S. Mulliken (1968) and Ronald Hoffmann (1969), and recent experts in the field, including Judith P. Klinman (1999), Marsha I. Lester (1998), and Geraldine Richmond (1997).


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