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Nobel laureate visits The Hormel Institute

Published 10:47am Friday, August 8, 2014

A Nobel laureate in chemistry stopped by the Hormel Institute to talk shop.

Nobel Prize-winning scientist Dr. Robert Huber answers a question at The Hormel Institute Thursday.  -- Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com
Nobel Prize-winning scientist Dr. Robert Huber answers a question at The Hormel Institute Thursday. — Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Renowned biochemist Dr. Robert Huber spoke on his work and visited with Institute scientists and students throughout the day Thursday.

“I had a wonderful time,” Huber said.

Huber studied chemistry in Germany at the Technische Hochschule, where he received his diploma in 1960. He continued researching there with crystallography methods to reveal organic compound structures, something that would later help him secure the Nobel Prize in 1988 after his work crystallizing and studying proteins led to discoveries on how photosynthesis works.

From 1972 to 2005, Huber served as a director at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Germany, where his team developed methods for the crystallography of proteins.

He was invited to Austin by Dr. Zigang Dong, the Institute’s executive director.

Huber said he enjoyed speaking with students and others in part to “lure them into biochemistry,” he said with a laugh.

Dong was thrilled to have Huber at the Institute.

“He’s a very famous scientist, all over the world,” Dong said.

Huber’s time in Austin Thursday and Friday is part of a series of high-profile visits by world-renowned scientists to the Institute, which Dong said is great for Institute faculty.

“It’s really an honor to bring [Huber] to Austin,” Dong said.


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