Stamford American International School wrapped up an amazing Nobel Laureate 2017 series with its third visitor on Monday, March 20, with a visit from Dr. Peter Agre, the 2003 Nobel Laureate for Chemistry, for his breakthrough research concerning channels in cell membranes.
As part of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (DP), our Biology and Chemistry DP students were treated to an intimate masterclass with this esteemed mentor, where they shared Q&A with Dr. Agre as his medical research gave them plenty of food for thought regarding their questions on Malaria and the role of science in day to day life.
Dr. Agre’s fascinating discovery which earned him the Nobel Prize succeeded in isolating a membrane protein that he realized must be the long-sought-after water channel out of and into cells. This discovery opened the door to a whole series of biochemical, physiological and genetic studies of great importance for the understanding of many diseases of e.g. the kidneys, heart, muscles, nervous system, eyes and secretory glands. He then went on to dedicate his life’s work to aquaporins working with a vast team of professional researches in many given interrelated fields. He emphasised that “Science comes from a community, even though the Nobel Prize was awarded to me as an individual”. He also celebrated the international friendships he built throughout his career with fellow scientists. He urged students to recognize the value of science on society and build “scientific friendships” which can overcome different political views. With shared experiences, scientists may produce results that one cannot predict.
Dr. Agre also delivered a keynote address to 400 Stamford American Middle School Students from Grades 7 and 8, and Parents at the Reagan Theater, finishing off with a humorous rendition of a science ditty which included 102 of the scientific elements attracting a large cheer from his appreciative young audience.
Dr. Agre’s visit to the School marks the final visit in a series of three Nobel Laureate visits to Stamford American this academic year that included His Excellency Jose Manuel Barroso, the 11th President of the European Commission and Former Prime Minister of Portugal, who received the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the European Union and Prof. Robert Engle III 2003 Nobel Laureate for Economics and Michael Armellino Professor of Finance at New York University’s Stern School of Business, New York/USA.