Nobel-winning researcher speaks at USM

University of Southern Mississippi on Wednesday welcomed a Nobel laureate who's made news around the world with his research.

Dr. Richard J. Roberts, the 1993 recipient of the Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine, is the keynote speaker at a USM lecture series.

Roberts' work includes restriction enzymes present in microbes that are responsible for cutting up DNA and gene splicing. Research by Roberts and his colleagues has led to many breakthroughs in the biotechnology industry we know today. He has strong views on the controversial issue of stem cell research.

"If science is allowed to progress properly, and we manage to get stem cell research going, then I think you're going to see major breakthroughs in medicine," Roberts tells 7 ON YOUR SIDE. "In fact, the future of medicine is intimately tied with stem cell research.  And for us to be living in a country where the government says we shouldn't be doing it, I just find it ludicrous, absolutely ridiculous."

His lecture at Bennett Auditorium was expected to focus on a less controversial topic: the unseen world of microbes and how those tiny living organisms influence our lives.