November 09, 2010

Biochem expert presents 12th annual 3M/Mitsch Chemistry Lecture; November 12 event open to public

 Hamline University is pleased to invite the public to the 12th annual 3M/Ronald A. Mitsch Lecture in Chemistry.

Dr. Laura Kiessling will deliver the keynote presentation, “Carbohydrate Polymer Assembly: How Do Mycobacteria Do it?”

The lecture will take place on Friday, November 12 at 12:45 p.m. in Sundin Music Hall located at 1531 Hewitt Avenue in Saint Paul. It is free and open to the public.

Carbohydrate polymers are the most abundant organic compounds on Earth. In higher organisms, they play a key role in fundamental body processes, but they also can be essential for pathogen survival. Kiessling’s interdisciplinary, landmark research interests focus on explaining how cells receive external messages from their surroundings and how scientists might utilize that information to further understand certain diseases. Her research combines tools from organic synthesis, polymer chemistry, structural biology, microbiology, and molecular and cell biology.

Kiessling is a Hilldale Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry and a Laurens Anderson Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In addition, she is the director of the Keck Center for Chemical Genomics and the Chemical Biological Interface Training Program. She earned her BS in chemistry from MIT and a PhD in chemistry from Yale University. She also carried out postdoctoral training in chemical biology at the California Institute of Technology.

The 3M/Ronald A. Mitsch Lectures in Chemistry are part of the 3M/Ronald A. Mitsch Endowed Fund in Chemistry, established in 1998 by the 3M Foundation in recognition and appreciation of Dr. Mitsch. The 3M/Ronald A. Mitsch Endowed Fund is intended to promote new connections and pioneering efforts between education and industry as an essential basis for the education of chemists who are prepared to meet the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century and beyond. Mitsch, a 1956 graduate of Hamline University’s College of Liberal Arts, began his career at 3M in 1960 as a research chemist and earned nineteen patents. In 1998, he retired from 3M as vice chairman of the board and executive vice president of the Industrial and Consumer Sector, Corporate Services. Mitsch is a Hamline University life trustee.