UMD News Releases

Communication Associate: Public Relations | Lori Melton | | (218) 726-8830

October 8, 1999
Susan Beasy Latto, Director of Public Relations 218 726-8830
Dr. Lester R. Drewes, Professor and Head, of the UMD Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 218 726-7925 or 218 726-7922

Internationally Known UMD Graduate To Make Presentation at UMD School of Medicine on October 12

Former University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) Graduate Student Joe Z. Tsien will be returning to UMD and presenting a seminar entitled "Genetic Enhancement of Learning and Memory in Mice" at 12 noon on Tuesday, October 12th in Room 142 of the UMD School of Medicine. Dr. Tsien, currently an Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology at Princeton University, recently made national and international news when he announced that he had created a smarter strain of mouse by genetically altering a gene for memory and intelligence.

When tested, these mice exhibited higher IQ's. This cutting-edge discovery may be the gateway to research resulting in the development of drugs necessary to treat diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and stroke, as well as the engineering of babies born with higher intelligence.

While at UMD, Dr. Tsien (who changed his name from Zhuo Qian) studied in the medical school laboratory of Dr. Lester R. Drewes, Professor and Head of the UMD Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology where he conducted research on the mechanisms of chemical communication between cells of the brain. Tsien was a graduate student beginning in 1986 and received his Ph.D. In Biochemistry in 1990.

After leaving UMD, Dr. Tsien held prestigious postdoctoral fellowships at Columbia University with Dr. Eric Kandel and with the Nobel Laureate Dr. S. Tonegawa at MIT. Dr. Tsien was also awarded the prestigious Bacaner Research Award sponsored by the Minnesota Medical Foundation in 1990. This award was given in recognition of outstanding creative achievement.

This scientific seminar, to be presented at the UMD School of Medicine on October 12, is free and open to the public.

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