The Department of Biological Chemistry celebrated the 80th birthday of Masayasu Nomura, the Grace Bell Professor of Biological Chemistry, with a symposium titled “Ribosomes: From Structure to Gene Expression and Beyond” April 19-20 at the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center of the National Academies. Over his career, Nomura has been one of the world’s leading researchers on ribosomes, which are responsible for assembling proteins that give form and function to cells. This work has advanced medicine in areas such as cancer and the effectiveness of antibiotics. The invitation-only symposium brought the world’s ribosome royalty to Irvine – colleagues, friends and former students of Nomura – including Nobel Prize recipient James Watson, Lasker Award winner Robert Roeder and more than a dozen other members of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences.