Each year, the Chemistry Department at UniFr selects a top-level scholar for its prestigious Chaim Weizmann Lecture. On 13 May, Professor Katharina Fromm welcomed Randy Schekman, Nobel Prize laureate in Physiology or Medicine in 2013 with his colleagues James Rothman and Thomas Südhof for discoveries on the machinery regulating vesicle traffic, a major transport system in our cells.
Randy Schekman is Professor at Berkeley University in California. He explained how his group unraveled, over several decades, the mechanisms allowing cells to transport the molecules they secrete from the nucleus to the exterior, with many complex steps and stops in between. This is how, for instance, our cells produce and release insulin, and how brain cells transmit signals to each other.
Chaim Weizmann, the first president of Israel, was also a renowned chemist, and received his PhD from UniFr over one century ago, in 1899, before contributing to creating the Weizmann Institute near Tel-Aviv.