Nobel Laureate Nüsslein-Volhard to discuss mysteries of genetics

Readers & writers and women investigators network event set for June 8 at Goethe Institüt

Why do children look like their parents? How does an embryonic cell know how to become an eye rather than an eyelash? How do simple egg cells develop into so many different life forms?

To discuss some of the mysteries behind genetic development and explain how they determine many of our traits as human beings, Nobel Laureate Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard will present a talk, Coming to Life: How Genes Drive Development, based on her new book of the same title. The event, part of the Academy's "Readers & Writers" series highlighting important new science books, will be held on Thursday, June 8 at 6:30 p.m. at the Goethe Institüt, 1014 Fifth Avenue (at 83rd Street), New York. A question and answer session will follow. The event is co-sponsored by the Goethe-Institüt, Kales Press, and the German Book Office.

Dr. Nüsslein-Volhard's book is a mesmerizing account of a remarkable journey through developmental biology that reveals the miraculous processes in the microscopic world of cells. Looking back at decades of fascinating discoveries, she also brings up many important issues relating to historical and contemporary questions in science. In addition, she provides the reader with the latest research about embryonic forms, explains the genetic mechanisms that influence adult development of all animals, and shares insights into the ethical standards society must uphold in the face of new scientific discoveries.

Guiding the reader from laboratory research to its applications in human beings, the Nobelist will also describe how her lab work in Germany is considered at the forefront of worldwide scientific investigation in the area of gradient research. As one of the few women Nobel Laureates, Dr. Nüsslein-Volhard will also share her unique perspective as an advocate for women in science.


A reception and book sale will follow. Seating is limited. To RSVP, please contact or call (212) 838 0230 x257.

Christiane Nüsslein Volhard was awarded The Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1995 for her discoveries in genetic research that led to a greater understanding of human biology and the prevention of human birth defects. Recognized around the world as one of the premier authorities in science, Dr. Nüsslein-Volhard has served for more than two decades as Director of Molecular Biology at the renowned Max-Planck-Institüte in Germany. Her international honors include those reserved for only the upper echelons in science. Among them are the Albert Lasker Award (1991) and the Leibniz-Prize (1986). She has long been an advocate for students, and in particular for women, to enter into science careers.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Apr 2016
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