Wendy Bickmore Delivers Annual Robert T. Simpson Memorial Lecture

Story posted October 2, 2019 in CommRadio, News by Logan Bourandas

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State hosted the annual Robert T. Simpson Memorial Lecture Monday at the Paterno Library.

This year, the guest lecturer was Wendy Bickmore, the director of the Medical Research Council Human Genetics Unit, of the Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine at the University of Edinburgh. Bickmore and her group discovered that different human chromosomes have preferred positions inside the nucleus.

The lecture was titled “3D Chromatin Organization in Genome Regulation and Disease.” Robert T. Simpson specialized in chromatin research, and his work at Penn State has been considered to have placed the university at the forefront of chromatin research and to have greatly enhanced Penn State’s research.

The magnitude of Simpson’s success was the main reason why Bickmore decided to give this year’s annual lecture.

“[I received] the invitation to give a lecture named after the great Bob Simpson, who’s such a hero in the area of chromosome structure,” Bickmore said. “You can’t turn down an invitation like that.”

Throughout the hour-long lecture, Bickmore focused on one key thing that she wanted those who attended to think about most.

“Follow your nose,” Bickmore said. “Don’t follow the crowd. Go with your own instincts and do the experiment you think is important, not what the field thinks is important.”

The Robert T. Simpson Lectureship was set up via donations from Simpson’s family, friends, colleagues and associates.


Logan Bourandas is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email lxb5412@psu.edu.