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Academic Matters
By Melvin Green

Saturday, May 21st


Friday, May 20th
Academic Matters
a play by By Melvin Green
York 2622
8pm (Friday and Saturday)

E-mail: mgreen@ucsd.edu

After attaining his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Illinois in 1962, Melvin Green conducted post-doctoral research at the California Institute of Technology under the guidance of Nobel laureate Renato Dulbecco. He then advanced through the professorial ranks at the University of California, San Diego, where he is currently Professor Emeritus. His research has been in the areas of Molecular and Cellular Biology with a focus on medical topics such as cancer, AIDS, and wound repair.

Synopsis ( 2 Acts )

Prof. Joe Lehrer, a deeply dedicated researcher, is on the verge of a major breakthrough in his personal war on cancer when disaster strikes. He loses his research funding because of his fear of being beaten to the discovery by his competitors. If Lehrer cannot obtain financial support quickly, his lab will be shut down. His ambitious graduate student, Jil, is frantic because she will lose three years of intense work and have to start from scratch with a new thesis advisor. Reacting to this extreme pressure, Jil creates even more problems for herself and Lehrer. Prof. Ann Gates, with her inter-personal skills and modern approach to conducting research, operates in striking contrast to Lehrer's way of doing science. She and others offer possibilities that might help him achieve his goals, but these are in conflict with Lehrer's stubborn reluctance to change. What ensues is one man's struggle for success in the highly competitive world of academic science.

Unlike many plays and movies that portray scientists as madmen, geniuses, or kooks, "Academic Matters" is a play about two typical science professors and a graduate student coping with the challenges of their profession -- personality clashes, competition, publishing, obtaining research funds, and remaining altruistic when great success seems imminent. Hanging in the balance is a treatment for cancer that would benefit all mankind. The dynamic tensions that result from these academic endeavors create intense drama as well as some hilarious moments.