NOBEL LIFE

One of the Nobel Prize winners for chemistry lists “no longer scared of the dark” on his amusing résumé

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry has just been awarded jointly to Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank, and Richard Henderson for developing cryo-electron microscopy that images the molecules of life.

But while the scientists’ work on cryo-EM is incredibly serious—it allows scientists to freeze biomolecules to examine their structures and the processes they are involved in—Professor Dubochet’s CV shows he has a good sense of humor.

On his official Université de Lausanne profile page, he kicks off his résumé with “October 1941. Conceived by optimistic parents,” before moving onto: “1946. No longer scared of the dark, because the sun comes back; it was Copernicus who explained this.”

Curriculum Vitae

October 1941
Conceived by optimistic parents.

1946
No longer scared of the dark, because the sun comes back; it was Copernicus who explained this.

1948-55
1st part of an experimental scientific career in Vallis and Lausanne (instruments: knives, needles, strings, matches).

1955
First official dyslexic in the canton of Vaud – this permitted being bad at everything … and to understand those with difficulties.

1962
Federal maturity exam.

1967
Physicist-engineer at EPUL to become biologist.

1968 Very important.

1969
Certificate of Molecular Biology at Geneva to become biophysicist. Began to study electron microscopy of DNA, which remains my main topic.

1973
Thesis in biophysics at Geneva and Basle with Eduard Kellenberger who taught me biophysics, ethical responsibility and durable friendship.

1970-76
Very classic psychoanalysis.

1978 Group leader at EMBL (Heidelberg); how to introduce water in electron microscopy. Discovery of water vitrification and development of cryo-electron microscopy.

1987
Professor at l’UNIL, Department of Ultrastructural Analysis.

1998
Président of the Biology section with the chance to perform this assignment with Nicole Galland and Pierre Hainard, and to live at a moment when interesting things were happening in biology in Lausanne.

2002
(start) End of the assignment. Sabbatical in Australia, Germany and Paris.

2004-7 Maturation of CEMOVIS (cryo-electron microscopy of vitreous sections).

2007
June Retirement Colloquium.

2007 =>
Host of the Dpt. of Ecology and Evolution. Science and Society for elderly.

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