A member of the UCLA class of 1971 received the Nobel Prize this year. He is the 7th alum to be awarded the Nobel Prize. The most recent graduate before this stellar academic was Bill Sharpe, who graduated in 1955 (and who was one of my profs at Stanford GSB). Glad to see the gap closed.
With all the suspense as to the identity, I can reveal that it is not Fox, much to my surprise. And although I also graduated in 1971, I am certainly not Nobel-worthy.
Our esteemed classmate is Randy Schekman, who is now a prof at UC Berkeley and an adjunct prof at UCSF. Maybe he can get a new boss at UCSF named Gene Block- we can always dream.
Randy Schekman's Nobel was in the field of Physiology or Medicine. The Nobel citation says that the prize is for "discoveries of machinery regulating vesicle traffic, a major transport system in our cells".
This is definitely excellent news, and obviously well-deserved. Randy apparently did independent study for his bachelor's degree after coming to UCLA intending to do pre-med. His independent study involved a concentration in molecular biology.
I was also going to concentrate in molecular biology, but I got lost while running for classes fall quarter of freshman year (old timers will understand the reference), and wound up getting my degree in Poli Sci (the closest I came to anything with the term "Science"). Another weird parallel is that he apparently spent his junior year at the University of Edinburgh, while I was doing my year abroad in England at the same time. We both were fortunately able to miss the bullshit pass interference call which cost UCLA a Rose Bowl trip for the 1969 season.
In any event, after UCLA, Randy went on to get his PhD from Stanford. And here is another interesting tidbit. The Stanford process started when Randy, obviously a Bruin football fan, went up to Palo Alto to watch the UCLA-Stanford football game.
Note to Chancellor Block- you can be a football fan, and a scientist. Athletics and academics don't need to be exclusive.
In any event, hats off to Randy Schekman. And Nobel Committee- get with it for Fox.