20 September 2019

Frances Arnold’s visit (23 May, 2019)

On 23 May, 2019, we had a very special visit: 2018 Nobel Laureate Frances H. Arnold, Linus Pauling Professor at California Institute of Technology, came to the University of Copenhagen to meet with PhD students, senior faculty and give a lecture open to the public.

Frances Arnold arrived at the Maersk Tower at 9:00 in the morning with assistant professor María Escudero Escribano, who organised and hosted the visit. Short meetings with professors María Escudero Escribano, Laila Lo Leggio, Dimitris Stamou and Nikos Hatzakis were followed by a videotaped interview.

Professor Arnold then met with a diverse group of PhD students on the 15th floor of Maersk Tower. While enjoying a clear sky and sunny Copenhagen views, interactions and conversations took place smoothly and joyously. The PhD students really appreciated this very unique and special opportunity to ask Frances Arnold questions about her career, exchange ideas about challenges of pursuing an academic career and women in STEM, and draw inspiration from this world-famous role model.

After enjoying lunch together, members of the Department of Chemistry and Frances Arnold took a tour around the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center of Protein Research, which is part of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences. A summary of the day including the interview and moments from the getting-together with PhD students can be viewed in the video.

Finally, her much expected public lecture took place at a very crowded Lundbeck Auditorium, which welcomed more than 400 attendees for the occasion. Frances Arnold delivered a fascinating, inspiring and fun lecture titled Enzymes by Evolution: Bringing New Chemistry to Life about her pioneering research for which she was awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

To see the interview with Frances Arnold, click here.