October NanoTalks: Nobel Prizes

Join our NanoTalks in October and learn what is behind the 2020 Nobel Prizes. You will hear the milestones of 40 years of hepatitis virus research and the improvements in the theory of auctions. Enjoy the talks and a short break on your way to the Nobel Prize!

Talk 1: Hepatitis C virus -  behind the Nobel prize

Presented by: Maija K. Pietilä, Postdoc at the Institute of Virology, UZH

Viruses are tiny, fast evolving and abundant, making them a huge threat to human health. Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver that can be fatal, and viruses are the most common cause of this liver disease. Almost 100 million people worldwide suffer from chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection that may progress to liver cirrhosis or cancer. The cause of numerous blood-borne hepatitis cases remained a mystery until HCV was discovered by Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M. Rice. This discovery lead to blood tests and eventually to treatment of this disease. Saving millions of lives, the work of Alter, Houghton and Rice was rewarded by the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. In this talk I will present the milestones of 40 years of hepatitis virus research and important future goals.


Talk 2: Auctions - The 2020 Nobel prize

Presented by: Julian Teichgräber, PhD Candidate at the Department of Economics, UZH

Auctions are used in various settings to facilitate transactions - ranging from the sale of government bonds, 5G frequency bands, internet advertisement slots to your latest pair of skis that you purchased in an online auction. The choice of auction format can have huge consequences for both seller revenue and the social value of a transaction. How should an auction be designed to address these objectives? Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson are the recipients of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Economics for their work on auction theory. Inspired by their contribution, I will explain how research in economic theory can result in large-scale applications to the benefit of society.


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