WSU Student to Attend 50th Anniversary Meeting of Nobel Laureates

PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University doctoral candidate
Geoffrey Puzon of Bremerton has been selected to attend the 50th anniversary
meeting of Nobel Laureates in Lindau, Germany.

Nobel prize winners from around the world meet annually to discuss research
issues. This year, the 66 participating laureates in chemistry, physics,
physiology and medicine will include some 600 graduate students in their
meetings, slated for June 26-30.

Puzon was one of 36 students from U.S. schools selected by the Department of
Energy to attend the meetings. His DOE sponsorship was awarded based on
nominations by WSU President Samuel H. Smith and Puzon’s lead researchers
Luying Xun, associate professor of molecular biosciences, and James Petersen,
professor of chemical engineering. Puzon will spend June 25 in Washington,
D.C., for briefings on DOE science programs and to meet the other DOE
graduate students before leaving for Germany.

“This will be a great opportunity to learn from the brightest scientific minds in
the world,” said Puzon. “I am very interested in others’ points of view — how
they achieve research goals, how they have moved their research forward. This
will help me think of new questions and develop greater knowledge and
analytical skills to apply to my own research projects. The other students, too,
will have novel view points.”

Now studying environmental microbiology, Puzon earned a genetics and cell
biology bachelor’s degree at WSU in 1995. As a WSU undergraduate, he
studied at LaTrobe University in Melbourne, Australia, in the Study Abroad
program Prior to beginning his doctoral studies, Puzon worked as a research
technician for several years at the National University of Singapore, where he
studied genetic mutations and oral cancer, and at WSU. His present research
concentration is on bioremediation of groundwater contaminated with the
heavy metal chromate. After completing his doctorate, he hopes to return to
Southeast Asia and apply his expertise to bioremediation technologies and
international environmental policy development, perhaps with the United
Nations or the World Health Organization.

A Bremerton native, Puzon is a graduate of O’Dea High School in Seattle. His
parents are Leon and Patty Puzon of Bremerton.