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Maria Goeppert-Mayer Symposium to Be Held March 5 at UCSD

UCSD Chancellor Marye Anne Fox and SDSC Director Fran Berman to Address Special Tenth Anniversary Event in Support of Interdisciplinary Science and Careers

Published 02/05/2005

The tenth annual Maria Goeppert-Mayer Interdisciplinary Symposium (MGM) will highlight original research endeavors at the borders between chemistry, physics, and biology, carried out by prominent researchers from around the world. Named in honor of the co-winner of the 1963 Nobel Prize in physics, the event focuses on fundamental, interdisciplinary scientific achievements, and as well as encouraging career development for both students and scientists. The 2005 meeting will feature five invited scientific speakers, additional presentations, and an afternoon poster session including three poster awards. The symposium will run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on March 5 in Robinson Auditorium, just west of the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) on the UCSD campus. Registration is free and recommended for all interested in attending, see

"This event has struck a chord in the research community with its emphasis on interdisciplinary science," said Kim Baldridge, professor of theoretical chemistry at the University of Zurich and Distinguished Scientist at SDSC, who founded the symposium in 1996. "The tenth anniversary celebration will be a special event that commemorates both the inspirational career of Maria Goeppert-Mayer as well the remarkable women who have participated in this symposium since 1996," said Baldridge.

The tenth anniversary symposium will include special presentations by UCSD Chancellor Marye Anne Fox; Francine Berman, Director of SDSC and holder of the Endowed Chair in High Performance Computing at UCSD's Jacobs School of Engineering; and former UCSD Vice Chancellor and professor Marjorie Caserio.

Invited scientific speakers include Birgitta Whaley of the University of California, Berkeley, who will speak on "Molecules in Helium and Hydrogen Clusters: An Ultra-cold Nanolaboratory for Solvation Studies;" Sabeeha Merchant of UCLA who will speak on "Layers of Gene Regulation to Handle Life without Copper;" Janet Del Bene of Youngstown State University who will speak on "Two-bond Spin-spin Coupling Constants (2hJx-y) across X-H-Y Hydrogen Bonds: Some Fundamental Questions;" Connie Hall of the Pritzker Institute of Biomedical Science & Engineering who will speak on "Biomedical Engineering and the Problem of Thrombosis: The Importance of Transport Phenomena;" and Emma Parmee of Merck, Co., Inc. who will discuss "A New Approach to the Treatment of Type II Diabetes: From Lead Discovery to Clinical Candidate."

Goeppert-Mayer was a professor of physics at UCSD from 1960 until her death in 1972. When she received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963 for her work on the shell theory of the nucleus, she was the first woman to receive that award since Marie Curie in 1903.

The MGM symposium is sponsored by SDSC, the National Science Foundation, the National Biomedical Computational Resource, the American Chemical Society, the Center for Theoretical and Biological Physics, the University of Zurich, and Merck Co., Inc.

The program for the 2005 symposium and additional information are on the event Web page at

Registration is at

A biography of Maria Goeppert-Mayer can be found at