Nobel laureate Mario Capecchi to deliver distinguished Eyring lectures at ASU


October 27, 2021

Mario Capecchi is an Italian-born molecular geneticist known for his pioneering work on the development of gene targeting in mice. This technology allows creation of mutations in any desired gene, giving virtually complete freedom to manipulate the genome of living mice.

Capecchi’s work in this area revolutionized the study of mammalian biology and is used to understand countless diseases by scientists worldwide. He is a co-winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine, awarded as recognition of this achievement. He shared the prize with Martin Evans and Oliver Smithies. Mario Capecchi Mario Capecchi, Nobel laureate and distinguished professor of human genetics and biology at the University of Utah, will deliver the fall Eyring lectures at ASU’s School of Molecular Sciences. Download Full Image

Capecchi, distinguished professor of human genetics and biology at the University of Utah and a member of the National Academy of Sciences with many international awards, will be the featured School of Molecular Sciences’ Eyring Lecture Series speaker Nov. 4 and 5 at Arizona State University's Tempe campus.

The general lecture on Nov. 4, titled “The Making of a Scientist: The Unlikely Journey of a Young Street Rogue in War-torn Italy to Stockholm” will be presented in Armstrong 101 at 6 p.m. Zoom option: https://asu.zoom.us/j/87081218152.

Capecchi’s research achievements mean that an investigator has virtually complete freedom on how to manipulate the DNA sequences in the genome of living mice. This allows scientists to evaluate in detail the function of any gene during the development or post-developmental phase of the mouse. His current research interests include the molecular genetic analysis of early mouse development, neural development in mammals, production of murine models of human genetic diseases including cancers and neuropsychiatric disorders, and gene therapy.

The Eyring lectures are part of an interdisciplinary distinguished lecture series dedicated to stimulating discussion by renowned scientists who are at the cutting edge of their respective fields. Each series consists of a leadoff presentation to help communicate the excitement and the challenge of science to the university and community. Past lecturers have included Nobel laureates Ahmed Zewail, Jean-Marie Lehn, Harry Gray, Richard Smalley, Yuan T. Lee, Richard Schrock and, most recently awarded, John Goodenough.

The technical lecture, "Mutant Hoxb8 Microglia Are Causative for Chronic Anxiety and OCD-spectrum Disorders in Mice,” will take place Nov. 5 at 2:30 p.m. in the Biodesign auditorium.

The lecture series is named in honor of the late Leroy Eyring, an ASU Regents Professor of chemistry and former department chair, whose instructional and research accomplishments and professional leadership at ASU helped to bring the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry into international prominence. The Eyring Materials Center and the Navrotsky Eyring Center for Materials of the Universe at ASU are named in his honor.

Jenny Green

Clinical associate professor, School of Molecular Sciences

480-965-1430

Sojourn Theatre’s 'Don't Go' kicks off ASU Gammage 2021-22 Beyond Season


October 27, 2021

Sojourn Theatre’s newest devised work in development, "Don’t Go," is a three-act journey of shared tasks, intimate exchanges, difficult conversations, a staged eruption of an epic story ... and a final coming together. "Don't Go" will play at ASU Gammage on Saturday, Nov. 13.

Here, Michael Rohdco-founder and member of the 21-year-old national ensemble-based Sojourn Theatre and Institute Professor at ASU’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, discusses the show.  Download Full Image

Question: What was the inspiration to create "Don't Go"? 

Answer: Back in 2017, as a company we were grappling with ways artists should respond to the political moment and shifting social dynamics in our country. Hyper-partisanship, disinformation, frayed faith in institutions of all sorts ... we had made nearly 20 years of work about civic dialogue and what it means to live amidst the histories and contemporary context of the U.S. But this time seemed to want something different, both larger and more intimate than much of what we had explored previously. Together, we arrived at a question that seemed useful — what makes us stay in difficult conversations? — and we started our investigation there. 

Q: What was the process of creating the show? 

A: The first iteration of "Don't Go" took place at the University of Southern California in 2018, in partnership with the School of Dramatic Arts. Four Sojourn artists devised that first-draft version with an ensemble of seven undergraduate artists, ranging from political science to gender studies to theater majors. It was performed with a new ensemble of strangers each night including USC faculty, students and Los Angeles community members. That early draft of the play now makes up the first act of "Don't Go."   

A year later, we developed additional goals for the piece during Sojourn's annual summer ensemble laboratory and began asking: What shared experiences would the strangers need to deepen their ability to stay in meaningful dialogue together? What surprise, spectacle and shared story would help them form the bonds necessary to not quit on each other? This took us to the Antigone story: a narrative of two equally right and wrong ideologies that results in tragedy. We decided a participatory retelling of this story, with the strangers as protagonists, would make up the second act of our play and developed that idea in residency at Vanderbilt University in fall 2019.  

We began exploring the third act of the play at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in winter 2020, investigating how to bring strangers together across meaningful difference. We had scheduled residencies in Washington, D.C., and Boston to continue development in preparation for our originally scheduled fall 2020 world premiere at ASU Gammage, and then — COVID-19. We spent much of 2020 and 2021 continuing work on the piece virtually, sharing a new draft of the "Don't Go" through ASU Gammage’s Digital Connections series in March 2021.  

Q: How does participation by community members affect the show? Does it change the show each time it is performed? 

A: The heart of this show is the relationship between the two strangers. To be clear, these are not audience members. We approach them as a curated chorus, new at each performance and found over a months-long process led by our hosts/presenters (in this case, ASU Gammage) in partnership with Sojourn Theatre. Once these strangers enter the space for the performance itself, never having met each other before, they will respond to the show’s invitations and structure with utter uniqueness. The show has, in its own way, plot. It has forward motion. But how that plays out moment to moment, and where it goes, is entirely dependent on who the strangers are and how they move through the experience. 

Q: What do you hope the audience leaves with after seeing "Don't Go"? 

A: "Don't Go" posits that the American muscle for holding conflict is underdeveloped. It suggests that we quit too soon on each other — and that to live together and collaborate, we need to learn how to share space across ideological and identity-based difference. We hope that the audience leaves having witnessed two people build that muscle together and feel a deepened ability to do so themselves.    

Q: What do you look forward to most about having the show performed at ASU Gammage? 

A: Being live in a space where actors and audience get to share moments, finally, in person. ASU Gammage is a gorgeous hall with a meaningful history of making performance central to the lives of so many people in a large, diverse community. Getting to help ASU Gammage and its communities come back from these last nearly two years of isolation, trauma and economic hardship is a privilege. Doing so with a work we have spent so much time building and which we believe speaks to this moment of recovery and rebuilding and reimagining, is a joy.

Q: Do you have any advice for aspiring theater artists looking to create their own stage pieces? 

A: "Don't Go" has taken several different shapes over the last four years; it has changed as the world has changed. Sojourn continues to center emergence and adaptation as much as possible in our work in an effort to stay responsive and relevant. Our advice is for aspiring artists to do the same, to stay connected to the changing needs of the world and make art that responds directly to it.  

'Don't Go'
7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 13
ASU Gammage, Tempe campus
Tickets on sale at asugammage.com

Marketing Assistant, ASU Gammage