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Since 1925 UCLA has honored its most distinguished scholars by selecting them to deliver this special annual lecture. By honoring them in this way, members of the academic community have an opportunity to appreciate these scholars' achievements in a way they may not have otherwise had.

James Lake
111th Faculty Research Lecture

Using Genomes to Track the Evolution of Life on Earth and Beyond

James A. Lake,
Distinguished Professor of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology and Human Genetics

November 3, 2011


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James A. Lake, Distinguished Professor of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology and Human Genetics, is a UCLA scientist whose research has focused on understanding molecular evolution at its earliest stage. In the course of his career, he has invented new techniques and often challenged current scientific views. His work has been trail-blazing and controversial, starting with the first three-dimensional structure of the ribosome, and then sequencing genes, and developing mathematical approaches to analyze genome sequences to build a more robust tree of life.

In 1982, Jim was elected as an overseas fellow at Churchill College, Cambridge, U.K. He is a fellow of the Linnean Society of London, the world's oldest continuously operating scientific society, a fellow of the American Association for the advancement of Science, a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, and a founding editorial board member of Genome Biology and Evolution. Most recently, The Linnean Society of London awarded Jim the prestigious Darwin-Wallace Medal in 2011. He has been a full professor at UCLA since 1976.

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