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Biochemist Nenad Ban to Present Shipley Lectures at Clarkson University, Feb. 1 & 2

Nenad Ban will present the two lectures of Clarkson University's 21st Shipley Distinguished Lectureship, February 1 and 2. Both lectures are free and open to the public.

Nenad Ban (photo by ETH Zürich / Giulia Marthaler).Ban, a Croatian biochemist, is the head of the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biophysics at the ETH Zurich, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.

Ban's lecture "Visualizing the Invisible" will be delivered on Monday, February 1, at 4:15 p.m. in Science Center Room 360 (#18 on the map at The presentation will be preceded by a 3 p.m. reception in the Technology Advancement Center (TAC) Atrium (#17 on the map at

In describing his lecture, Ban says, "Our ability to visualize the invisible world around us to better understand nature has advanced steadily in the course of history, a development fueled by important technological and methodological breakthroughs." Ban will discuss some of the key advances in this quest and their implications for understanding evolution and the molecular basis of life.

For students, faculty and the more technically inclined, Ban's lecture "Beyond the Prokaryotic Ribosome: Structural and Functional Insights into Eukaryotic and Mitochondrial Ribosomes" will be presented on Tuesday, February 2, at 1 p.m. in Bertrand H. Snell Hall Room 214 (#20 on the map at

Born in Zagreb, Croatia, Ban received his bachelor of science degree in molecular biology and biochemistry from the University of Zagreb. He continued with his studies in the United States, where he obtained his Ph.D. in biochemistry at the University of California at Riverside in the group of Alexander McPherson.

His interest in large macromolecular assemblies continued during his postdoctoral work at the Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale University, where he determined the atomic structure of the large ribosomal subunit by X-ray crystallography, as part of the group in the laboratory of Thomas Steitz (one of three winners of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry). These results demonstrated that the ribosome is a ribozyme.

Since 2000, Ban has been the professor of structural molecular biology at the ETH Zurich in Switzerland. He is a member of EMBO, the German Academy of Sciences, the Croatian Academy of Arts and Sciences and the recipient of several prizes and awards including the Heinrich Wieland Prize, Roessler Prize of the ETH Zurich, the Latsis Prize, the Friedrich Miescher Prize of the Swiss Society for Biochemistry, the Spiridon Brusina Medal and the AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize.

The Shipley Lectures are sponsored by the Shipley Family Foundation, with support from Clarkson's Center for Advanced Materials Processing (CAMP). The lectures were initiated in 1994 by Professor Egon Matijevic through a generous gift from the late Lucia and Charles Shipley through the foundation.

The University's relationship with the Shipleys dates back to1970, when Matijevic was invited by the Shipley Company to successfully resolve a patent situation involving their critical catalyst in electroless plating, establishing a professional relationship with the two entrepreneurs that continued over the years.

For more than 20 years, distinguished speakers from around the world, including nine Nobel Laureates have presented talks.

The purpose of the lectures is to promote scholarly achievements at Clarkson by providing the opportunity for idea exchange and active learning, as well as allowing undergraduate and graduate students to meet the most prestigious speakers from all over the world.

For more information about the lectures, please contact Shipley Lectureship founder and organizer Egon Matijevic, Victor K. LaMer Professor of Colloid and Surface Science, at 315-268-6658.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Nenad Ban will present the two lectures of Clarkson University's Shipley Distinguished Lectureship, February 1 and 2. Ban is the head of the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biophysics at ETH Zurich, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (photo by ETH Zürich / Giulia Marthaler).

[A photograph for media use is available at]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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