New York City Harper Lecture: Insights from Emerging Model Organisms: From the Physics of Beauty to the Secret Lives of Lobsters

Featuring Nipam Patel

Scientists often depend on so-called model organisms, such as fruit flies, mice, and frogs, for their research. While investigation of these animals has led to incredible advances in both basic and translational biology, they represent only a tiny slice of the diversity of life on earth. Nipam Patel explores questions that can be addressed only by expanding the repertoire of animals that are studied, illustrating the sorts of fascinating insights that have already emerged from such research. He will focus on novel mechanisms for generating stunning colors in butterflies—and on how lobsters and their kin have developed a Swiss Army–knife approach to the evolution of legs.
harper_headshot_new-york-05-02-2019Featured Speaker: Nipam Patel
Nipam Patel is the director of the UChicago-affiliated Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL). A longtime member of the MBL community, Patel has taught its embryology course since 2001 and served as course codirector from 2007 to 2011. He is the 20th scientist to serve as the MBL’s director since its founding in 1888. Patel is a leading scholar in modern evolutionary and developmental biology, with a focus on the evolution of body patterning and segmentation, regeneration of the germ line, and structural coloration. His scientific expertise encompasses the development of novel model organisms for biological study and the application of advanced imaging technologies to the fundamental dynamics of living systems.

Patel is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has been awarded the Schubert Endowed Chair and the William V. Power Endowed Chair at the University of California, Berkeley; the McKnight Scholars Neuroscience Fellowship Award; and a National Science Foundation predoctoral fellowship, among other honors. The author of more than 130 scientific publications, Patel was an editor of the journal Development (2009–18) and serves on numerous other editorial and advisory boards. He was a professor of organismal biology and anatomy at the University of Chicago (1995–2003), a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator (1995–2010), and a staff associate in the Department of Embryology at the Carnegie Institution in Baltimore (1991–95). He received a BA in biology from Princeton University and a PhD in biology from Stanford University.

Lecture Details

$10/Maroon Loyalty Society member or recent graduate (College alumni of the past 10 years and graduate alumni of the past five years)
Free for current academic year graduates and current students
Two complimentary registrations for members of the Chicago, Harper, Phoenix, and Medical and Biological Sciences Alumni Association philanthropic societies
Event Details:
6:30 p.m. Registration and networking
7:00 p.m. Presentation and discussion
8:00 p.m. Reception

A private parking garage is adjacent to the Lotte New York Palace on 50th Street between Madison and Park Avenues. The rate is $65 for up to three hours.
Contact alumniassociation@uchicago.edu or 773.702.2150.


Thursday, 05/2/19 at 6:30pm - 8:30pm | iCal


Lotte New York Palace
455 Madison Avenue
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