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17:30 24 February 2011

UCL Grand Challenge Research Frontiers programme: Origins of life symposium


A V Hill Lecture Theatre | Medical Sciences and Anatomy Building (link Map)
Gower Street | London | WC1E 6BT | United Kingdom

Open to: Academic | Alumni | Public | Student
Admission: Free
Ticketing: Pre-booking essential

Speaker information

Dr Michael J. Russell, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Caltech, An applied geologist by background, Dr Russell's work on the giant mineral deposits in Ireland informed to his ideas on the origin of life. His fieldwork has taken him from the Solomon Islands to British Columbia and the Yukon. He was Professor and Head of Applied Geology at Strathclyde, transferring to the University of Glasgow in 1990 and the JPL in 2006. In June 2009 he was awarded the William Smith Medal from the Geological Society of London for his contributions to applied geology. From the East End of London, Michael’s first degree in geology, chemistry and physics was from the University of London, so this lecture is in some sense a homecoming.

The Grand Challenges Research Frontiers (GCRF) programme warmly invites you to this Origins of life symposium, at which Dr Mike Russell (a distinguished investigator on the chemical and geological beginnings of life on Earth, based at NASA's Jet Propoulsion Laboratory at CalTech, Pasadena) will speak on 'Why does life start, what does it do, where will it be?'. UCL Provost Venture Research Fellow, Nick Lane, who leads the UCL GCRF Origins of Life initiative will respond and describe the current stage of the building of a OoL bioreactor initiative.

Dr Michael Russell is driving a paradigm shift in research on the origin of life – work so compelling that he was featured in a unique profile in Nature (21st May 2009). Russell predicted the existence and chemistry of 'alkaline hydrothermal vents' as the ideal hatchery of life more than a decade before their discovery at Lost City off the mid-Atlantic Ridge.


Tola Okogwu
+44 (0)20 7679 8585 | j.okogwu@ucl.ac.uk


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