Some time with Nobel Laureate "Roderick MacKinnon"

I have no dream to become a Nobel laureate but I wanted to see and talk to such great persons. In 2004, first time, I listened a Nobel laureate giving his remarkable speech in BICC, Kathmandu during 4th National conference on Science and Technology. Today was the second time to see and listen to a Nobel Laureate from very close. It is always a matter of curiosity to me about them. How they speak, response to people, their life style. Are they normal person like us? What is inside their brain that makes such achievements?

Professor Dr. Roderick MacKinnon gave a talk on the topic "The principles of potassium ion channel" in ALS 4001, OSU followed by a informal discussion with students during refreshment.

His talk was about how potassium passes the membranes through potassium channels. According to him these channels are very selective to potassium ions. For example when about one thousand to ten thousand potassium cross the membrane only one sodium ion is able to cross through the channel although the size of sodium is much more smaller than potassium.

He is a professor at The Rockefeller University. Before he moved to this school in 1996, he was a faculty at Harvard Medical School. About his academic degrees: he did his undergraduate study in Biochemistry from Brandeis University, MD in medicine from Tufts University. He won Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2003.

Great lesson from him is that if you don't like, not interested in and not enjoying whatever you are doing, don't do it. This is his suggestion to undergraduate students who are going to graduate school soon. He himself is an example of this. He did his undergraduate in biochemistry. His undergraduate research adviser suggested him to go to graduate school but he decided to go to medical school. He didn't enjoyed his time during that 7 years and finally he came back to the lab working with same professor. He was trying to explain why he didn't like medical school and this career in the informal discussion with undergraduate students from department of biochemistry and biophysics at OSU. It was lots of memorizing stuffs and he was not good at memorizing. He couldn't enjoy the period. It was his important and hard decision to leave medical career and going back to graduate school.

He lives with his wife. They don't have child. He is proud of the work he has done and contribution to the science and The Nobel Prize. Answering to a question from a student about his wife's support in his success he said its great support and encouragement.

About the secrete of his success he mentioned interest and hard work are main driving forces. He always see the things in different ways than other people see. He doesn't go by the great things. He likes to work on the small things.

You can read more about him and his findings in following links.






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