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Nobel winner to visit Concordia College

Peter Agre

MOORHEAD - A Nobel Prize-winning chemist and Minnesota native will visit Concordia College this week.

Peter Agre will speak at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Knutson Center Centrum. He'll present the annual Richard G. Werth Lecture "My Life in Science."

Drew Rutherford, chairman of Concordia's chemistry department, said the lecture will appeal to a broad audience, not just science buffs.

Agre also will speak at 3 p.m. Friday in Jones Science Center Room 212 on "Aquaporin Water Channels: The Nobel Lecture." That lecture is more focused on the science, Rutherford said.

Both talks are open to the public.

Agre, a 1970 graduate of Augsburg College in Minneapolis, shared the 2003 Nobel Prize in chemistry for discovering aquaporins, a family of water channel proteins found in nature.

Agre is a professor and director at the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute at the Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

Despite his success, Agre is humble and tells a funny story about his life and career, Rutherford said.

"He's unchanged by the fame and the notoriety," Rutherford said. "I think people in the area are just going to love him."

Several Concordia students heard an informal talk by Agre last year when the college hosted the Peace Prize Forum.

Andrew Geis, a Concordia chemistry major, said Agre was a great speaker and made the science accessible to everyone.

"It's a really rare opportunity that we get someone that has won a Nobel prize to come to Fargo-Moorhead," Geis said.

In addition to the Nobel Prize, Agre has received many other honors. In February 2008 he became president-elect of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences.