Randy W. Schekman

Class of 1971

He turned small science into a great discovery.

As a child Randy Schekman regularly won prizes at science fairs. As a teenager he built a lab in his parents' garage. At UCLA, he first chose pre-med as his major, but in a freshman molecular biology lab doing hands-on research, fell in love with basic science. The young researcher was intrigued by the possibility of "plumbing the depths of nature with intellect and intuition and work." In 2013, Schekman, now on the faculty of UC Berkeley, became the first UCLA alumnus to win the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for his pioneering work in figuring out how the human cell organizes its transport system—which could be key to solving neurological diseases, diabetes and immunological disorders.

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