Alumni Game Changers: Nobel Laureate Charles Rice and Athlete Rolf Benirschke in Conversation

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Event Date

760 Orchard Rd., Davis

The UC Davis College of Biological Sciences is proud to welcome back two notable alumni: Nobel Laureate Charles Rice ’74 and athlete Rolf Benirschke ’77.

The event will be a conversation between Rice and Benirschke about the extraordinary journey of scientific innovation and medical breakthroughs that connected them, including Rice's work as the first scientist to culture the hepatitis C virus, which enabled development of treatments for the disease and played a pivotal role in curing Benirschke and countless others. Their conversation will be moderated by UC Davis Provost Mary Croughan.

***This in-person event is free to attend, but registration is required. The event will be recorded.***

Register Here


Charles Rice headshot

Charles Rice is a world-renowned virologist, widely recognized for his groundbreaking contributions to the field of hepatitis C research. Born in 1952, Rice earned his B.S. in Zoology from UC Davis in 1974 before completing his Ph.D. at the California Institute of Technology. In 2020, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of the hepatitis C virus, a breakthrough that has transformed the landscape of viral infection treatment.

Rolf Benirschke headshot

Rolf Benirschke is a celebrated athlete and a hepatitis C survivor. Born in 1955, Benirschke is an accomplished former professional football player, best known for his time with the San Diego Chargers. He is also a television personality, author, motivational speaker and patient advocate, a role in which he develops patient support, disease awareness, and treatment compliance initiatives for medical device and pharmaceutical companies.


Mary Croughan headshot

Mary Croughan has served as UC Davis's provost and executive vice chancellor since 2020. As the chief academic officer of UC Davis, she oversees all aspects of the university’s mission of teaching, research and public service. A UC Davis alum, Croughan is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and an executive committee member for the Association for Public and Land Grant Universities’ Council on Academic Affairs.