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Nobel Laureate Urges Students to Work Hard, Aim High and Be Tenacious


Young scientists should remember three things in becoming successful researchers, said scientist Kurt Wurthrich, a winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

They should work hard, aim high and not let occasional failures derail them, Wurthrich told a group of students from Morehouse, Spelman and other local colleges and universities at the Bank of America Auditorium in the Executive Conference Center on May 12.

He strongly emphasized the need to focus on bigger and more difficult projects.

“If you do the easy problems, you end up putting in the same amount of work as if you went for the big fish,” Wurthrich said.

The Morehouse College Center for Excellence in Telecommunications brought Wurthrich to the College to talk about his work as the Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Professor of Structural Biology, in the department of molecular biology at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif.

An avid fisherman and former track and field athlete, Wurthrich won the 2002 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in nuclear magnetic resonance – much of which is now the foundation for today’s magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, technology.

“That’s an example of how basic research can be used for something great,” he said “It was basic research. Nobody knew it would turn out to be used for operations.”

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