|Nobel Prize Week: The
Experience of a Lifetime, Says Scott Waldman, MD, PhD
The unparalled experience of a lifetime. Thats what it means to spend Nobel Week in Stockholm, Sweden, when the annual Nobel Prizes are awarded, says Scott A. Waldman, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine and Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Jefferson Medical College (JMC).
The rare opportunity came to Dr. Waldman when he and his family were invited by one of the Nobel recipients, Ferid Murad, MD, PhD, Professor and Chairman, Department of Integrative Biology and Pharmacology, University of Texas-Houston Medical School.
Dr. Murad is one of three 1998 Nobel Laureates in Physiology or Medicine. He delivered the 1998 William Potter Lecture on Student Research Day at Jefferson last spring and will deliver the 1999 Rehfuss Lecture on October 7.
Dr. Waldman had invited Dr. Murad to be the 1998 Potter Lecturer and, while in Stockholm during Nobel Week, extended Jeffersons invitation to be the 1999 Martin E. Rehfuss Lecturer. Inviting Dr. Murad for Jefferson were Robert L. Capizzi, MD, Magee Professor of Medicine and Chairman of the Department, JMC, and Jussi J. Saukkonen, MD, the Vice President for Science Policy and Technology Development, Thomas Jefferson University, and Dean, College of Graduate Studies (CGS). Every year since 1964 the Percival E. and Ethel Brown Foerderer Fund has sponsored the Rehfuss Lecture.
Dr. Waldman has been associated with Dr. Murad since 1979 when he joined Dr. Murads laboratory at the University of Virginia as a postdoctoral fellow, having just earned his PhD at CGS. They also worked together from 1981 to 1987 at Stanford University where Dr. Waldman earned his MD.
When Dr. Murad invited Dr. Waldman, his wife, Tess, and two sons, Jacob, 18, and Zachary, 15, to join him and his own family for Nobel Week, Dr. Waldman eagerly accepted.
Unbelievable best describes all parts of a thrilling week, he says.
The event is truly international. The nine recipients in medicine, chemistry, physics, economics and literature came from Great Britain, Germany, Spain and India in addition to the United States.
To personally witness the awards and be able to meet and mingle with the recipients and other scholars and researchers is an unparalled experience, Dr. Waldman says.
Its a week-long celebration, with lectures, tours, receptions. The award presentations are televised to all of Europe. At least three receptions are specifically so students can meet the Nobel winners. Literally hundreds of students attend these. I know it was a lifetime experience for my sons as well.
The prizes, first awarded in 1901, are presented on December 10, the anniversary of the death of Alfred Nobel. The Swedish industrialist invented dynamite and endowed the prizes in his will.