Nobel Prize winners in chemistry to Örebro University

This year’s Nobel Prize winners in chemistry – Stefan W. Hell, Eric Betzig and William E. Moerner – are coming to Örebro University on 14-15 December. During their visit, they will be shown round the university’s prominent chemistry research department. The Nobel laureates will also be giving a lecture.

- The fact that the Nobel Prize winners take time out of their busy schedule to come here is of course great news for the university but also for the region as a whole. It shows that Örebro University and the chemistry research undertaken here is interesting, says Vice-Chancellor Jens Schollin.

The Nobel Prize winners have accepted an invitation by Örebro University. While here, they will be meeting chemistry researchers and students and give a guest lecture. The programme also includes a visit to Alfred Nobel’s home in Karlskoga, Björkborn Manor and Laboratory, and a dinner at Örebro Castle.

This year’s Nobel Prize

It was long presumed that there were physical limitations as to the size of structures possible to resolve using a microscope. This year’s Nobel Prize winners in chemistry have bypassed those presumed limitations. Using the fluorescence of molecules, the 2014 Nobel laureates in chemistry have taken optical microscopy into a new dimension. The technique is referred to as nanoscopy.

This technique is used for instance within medicine. Using nanoscopy, scientists are today able to discern the work of individual molecules within living cells. This allows for the detailed study of molecules that cause Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s diseases, consequently aiding the fight against these conditions. Scientists are also able to track individual proteins as fertilised egg cells divide.

Nanoscopy has had a global impact and is a constant source of new knowledge and insights that are of the greatest importance to mankind.

The laureates

Stefan W. Hell, German citizen. Born 1962 (51 years old) in Arad, Romania. PhD 1990 from University of Heidelberg, Germany. Director at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen and Division Head at the German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany.

Eric Betzig, US citizen. Born 1960 (54 years old) in Ann Arbor, MI, USA. PhD 1988 from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA. Group Leader at Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ashburn, VA, USA.

William E. Moerner, US citizen. Born 1953 (61 years old) in Pleasanton, CA, USA. PhD 1982 from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA. Harry S. Mosher Professor in Chemistry and Professor, by courtesy, of Applied Physics at Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.