When Dr. W.E. Mourner came to campus, many science students couldn’t contain their excitement. The university invited the Stanford professor and recipient of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry to give a provost lecture. He talked to students in a full lecture hall about his development, identifying the inner workings of single molecular cells in high resolution. His groundbreaking research spanned more than 20 years.
“Learning and asking how things work is what we need to do to prepare ourselves for the technological future that’s coming. Studying science is very important,” said Mourner.
For Moerner, it was also a chance to visit a former student of his, Kallie Willets, now an Associate Professor at Temple. Willets said she was happy to see her mentor again.
“The opportunity to show him what I’m doing now, give him a sense of what my labs look like here at Temple, to see what we’ve built in the last year since I moved here is a great opportunity,” said Willets.
Willets said Mourner is always willing to help students.
“He’s very approachable, he explains science in a clear way, he makes it fun, and so for the students to have that experience is really important too,” said Willets.
Vignesh Sundaresan is a graduate student from India. He studies what Dr. Moerner pioneered in his prize-winning development. Sundaresan said he was happy to hear Moerner talk about the work he and his colleagues did.
“It was wonderful to hear the stories behind that and how they started that. Kallie, my professor, is his student…so we are following him,” said Sundaresan.
More information on Dr. Moerner’s Nobel Prize-winning work can be found here, on his website.