posted January 21, 2014

Neckers Lectureship in Chemistry is Thursday-Friday

Dr. Karolin Luger, who is member of the faculty at Colorado State University and conducts research for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, will present two addresses at Hope College on Thursday-Friday, Jan. 30-31, while on campus through the James and Jeanette Neckers Lectureship in Chemistry.

She will deliver the address “Some Assembly Required: The Making and Breaking of Nucleosomes” on Thursday, Jan. 30, at 7:30 p.m.  She will present “Histone Chaperones in Transcription and DNA Repair: The Usual and Unusual Suspects” on Friday, Jan. 31, at 4 p.m.  Both addresses will be in room 102 of VanderWerf Hall.

The public is invited to both addresses.  Admission is free.

Luger is a University Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Colorado State University, and an investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

She was a key player in efforts to elucidate the three-dimensional structure of the nucleosome, the basic repeating unit in chromatin.  Since she joined Colorado State University in 1999, her laboratory has been investigating the structural and dynamic properties of the nucleosome and higher-order chromatin structures to understand how transcription, replication, recombination and repair take place within the context of highly compacted chromatin.  She is engaged in numerous national and international collaborations and, together with two other investigators in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, is a principal investigator on a collaborative program project grant to investigate histone chaperones and acetyltransferases in chromatin transitions.

Luger received a Bachelor of Science degree in microbiology and a Master of Science degree in biochemistry from the University of Innsbruck in Austria.  She obtained her doctorate (summa cum laude) in biochemistry and biophysics from the University of Basel in Switzerland, and completed her training as a postdoctoral fellow and research assistant professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.

She has won the Monfort Professor Award and is a Searle Scholar.  In 2013, she was selected as the National Lecturer at the annual Biophysical Society meeting.  She is a member of the Keystone Meeting Scientific Advisory Board, and of the Advisory board for the Protein Structure Initiative (PSI).

Luger has served as a member of several study sessions for the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  In 2010, she was appointed to the National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council, which performs the second level of peer review for research grant applications assigned to NIGMS, and advises the NIH leadership on policy.

The James and Jeanette Neckers Lectureship and Student Assistance Fund through which Luger is speaking was established in 1984 by Dr. James W. and Jeanette Hoffman Neckers, members of the college’s Class of 1923, to support annual lectureships in chemistry. Through additional gifts from Dr. Neckers, the fund was expanded to include student summer research stipends and student scholarships.

James Neckers was chairman of the Department of Chemistry at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale for 37 of his 40 years at the university. Under his leadership, the department grew from a three-year offering in chemistry to granting the doctorate; the faculty grew from three to 23. Jeanette Neckers died on June 10, 1992, and James Neckers died on May 8, 2004.

VanderWerf Hall is located at 27 Graves Place, between 10th Street and Graves Place (11th Street) and Central and College avenues.

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