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Nobel Prize winner presenting lecture at Auburn and visiting College of Veterinary Medicine April 10-11

Nobel Laureate in Chemistry George P. Smith will visit Auburn University and the College of Veterinary Medicine April 10-11.

Nobel Laureate in Chemistry George P. Smith
Nobel Laureate in Chemistry George P. Smith

Professor Smith will present a public lecture, “Chemical Evolution with Phage Display”, at 2 p.m. April 10 in The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center auditorium, which will be followed by a reception. On April 11, he will be available to meet with faculty and students at the College of Veterinary Medicine. Smith’s visit follows Auburn’s April 9 Student Research Symposium in which nearly 600 students will present their research and creative scholarship projects.

Smith, the MU Curators Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biological Science at the University of Missouri, won the 2018 Nobel Prize in chemistry for development of bacteriophage display technology, which is the method that can be used to evolve new proteins and develop new pharmaceuticals. The award was shared with Frances Arnold of the California Institute of Technology and Sir Gregory Winter of the University of Cambridge for their revolutionary methods of solving modern medical issues.

Auburn Professor Valery Petrenko, of the College of Veterinary Medicine, worked closely with Smith for several years at the University of Missouri and continued collaborating after Petrenko came to Auburn in 2000.

“Phage display is a new way of thinking, a new paradigm in research. I am very happy that Dr. Smith and the phage display invention and its translation to phage nanobiotechnology, protein and material engineering received the highest scientific and public recognition over the world,” Petrenko said.

Smith obtained his doctorate in bacteriology and immunology in 1970 at Harvard University. He spent most of his career, 1975-2018, at the University of Missouri in Columbia, as well as time at Duke University in 1983–1984, where he began his Nobel Prize-awarded work.

His visit to Auburn University is sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research and the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Joy Goodwin Lecture Series.

The lecture series was established in 1984 by donor Joy Goodwin to bring in visiting scholars in support of research and teaching interests of the faculty and students. To date, this endowed program has sponsored over 130 seminars covering a wide range of topics. The speakers are chosen because of their documented leadership in a particular discipline of interest to the college.

“The College of Veterinary Medicine is honored to welcome Dr. George P. Smith, 2018 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, to the Auburn University campus as a Distinguished Joy Goodwin Lecturer,” said Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies Frank “Skip” Bartol. “We welcome the university community to this lecture and look forward to his visit to our college.”

More information is available about the lecture series online or by contacting Bartol at

The College of Veterinary Medicine is the South’s original and nation’s seventh oldest veterinary medical program, celebrating 126 years. We prepare individuals for careers of excellence in veterinary medicine, including private and public practice, industrial medicine, academics, and research. The college provides programs of instruction, research, outreach, and service that are in the best interests of the citizens of the state of Alabama, the region, the nation, and the world.