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'Father of synthetic biology' is subject of free film screening at Loyola

Loyola press release - April 15, 2015

Loyola University New Orleans and the Consulate General of Poland in Chicago present a free screening of “Essence of Life,” a new documentary about renowned geneticist and “father of synthetic biology,” Dr. Waclaw Szybalski. It takes place Friday, April 24 at 3 p.m. in Bobet Hall, Rm. 332 on Loyola’s main campus. The screening is free and open to the public and will include a Q-&-A with director Anna Ferens as well as Polish Consul for Culture and Education Konrad Zieliński.

Born and educated in Poland, Szybalski is a pioneer in molecular biology, genetics and microbiology. He was shortlisted for the Nobel Prize three times. A number of scientists who followed his path were actually awarded this prestigious prize. He is credited as one of the first to devise the concept of multi-drug antibiotic therapy and has also participated in the Human Genome Project. He is a professor emeritus of oncology at the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research at the University of Wisconsin–Madison Medical School. He earned his doctorate at the Gdansk Institute of Technology in Poland.

Ferens is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, screenwriter and journalist. She is the director of “A Place to Stand;” “Jews in the Warsaw Uprising 1944,” co-directed with Anna Kowalewska-Onaszkiewicz; “Man Seeks Woman;” “Where Wild Strawberries Grow;” “Three Buddies,” co-directed with Ewa Stankiewicz; and “What Can Dead Prisoners Do,” which won Best Documentary Award at 2011 Polish Film Festival in New York City. She is also the co-author of the “Erratum to the Biography” TV series.

For more information, contact Patricia Dorn at dorn@loyno.edu.

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