For Husch Blackwell’s Northwestern University grad school alums, Laura Labeots (Ph.D. 1992) and Ed Gamson (Ph.D. 1970), it was a huge thrill to learn that one of their own, a fellow chemist from Northwestern, had won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry last week. Sir J. Fraser Stoddart, who specializes in Nanotechnology, will be awarded the Nobel this December in Stockholm, Sweden, for his groundbreaking work on “molecular machines.” He and his group have devised molecules that remarkably can do mechanical work, such as lifting and moving other small molecules.

Fortuitously, the International Institute for Nanotechnology Symposium held every year at Northwestern, which has been sponsored by the firm for 10 years, was the very next morning after the announcement of the Nobel Prize winners. Dr. Stoddart opened the conference with a grand round of applause from the hundreds of attendees. It is not often that one gets to shake hands with a Nobel Laureate, let alone sit next to him at lunch and talk shop, as Laura and Ed did. It was wonderful to celebrate Dr. Stoddart’s achievement and support the Symposium.