In the two-step pumping scheme for a gamma-ray laser, an essential step is that of exciting the nucleus from a long-lived storage isomer to a nearby short-lived state that then decays to the upper lasing level. An experiment is in progress to induce this transfer by first exciting the atomic electrons with UV photons. The incident photons couple well to the electrons, wOich then couple via a virtual photon to the nucleus. As a test case, excitation of the 2.3U nucleus is being sought, using a high-brightness UV laser. The excited nuclear state, having a 26-minute half-life, decays by internal conversion, result in emission of an atomic electron. A pulsed infrared laser produces an atomic beam of 4-317 which is then bombarded by the UV laser beam. Ions are collected, and conversion electrons are detected py a channel electron multiplier. In preliminary eriments, an upper limit of 7 x 10- has been obtained for the probality 0 exciting a 4J'U atom in the UV beam for one picosecond at an intensity of about 10 W/cm4. Experiments with higher sensitivities and at higher UV beam intensities are underway.