An Olfactory Perspective on Genes and Behavior
May 9th, 4 PM, Atkinson Hall Auditorium
Fifty Years of Solitude:
The lectures are open to the public. No RSVP required.
Torsten N. Wiesel Professor
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
The Rockefeller University
1230 York Avenue
New York, NY 10065
Cori Bargmann completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Georgia in 1981 with a degree in biochemistry. She completed graduate studies in 1987 at M.I.T. in the lab of Robert Weinberg. There she examined the molecular mechanisms of oncogenesis, and helped identify the role of Ras in bladder cancer. She also did important work on the neu encogene that later led to significant treatments for breast cancer.
Bargmann then completed a postdoc with H. Robert Horvitz at MIT, working on molecular neurobiological problems. She began research on chemosensory behavior in C. elegans and achieved several breakthroughs, demonstrating, among other things, that nematodes have a sense of smell.
Bargmann accepted a faculty position at UCSF and focused on olfaction at the molecular level. This work led to discoveries of the mechanisms underlying complex behaviors, such as feeding. Her research has continued to lead to a deeper understanding of brain circuitry, sensory abilities, and neuronal development. Bargmann also identified SYG-1, a "matchmaker" molecule that directs neurons to form connections with each other during development.
In 2004, Bargmann moved to Rockefeller University. She is married to fellow olfactory scientist and Nobel laureate Richard Axel. For a vivid portrait of Bargmann as a young working scientist, see Natalie Angier's "Natural Obsessions: The Search for the Oncogene." She was featured in the New York Times on June 21, 2011.