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Cell signaling expert Clapham set for next Discovery Lecture

Mar. 27, 2014, 9:32 AM

Neuroscientist and biophysicist David Clapham, M.D., Ph.D., known for his studies of ion channels and cell signaling, will deliver the next Flexner Discovery Lecture on Thursday, April 3, in 208 Light Hall.

David Clapham, M.D., Ph.D.

The lecture start time has been changed to 3 p.m. to make it possible for faculty members to attend both the Discovery Lecture and the Chancellor’s Spring Faculty Assembly, which begins at 4:10 p.m. in Langford Auditorium.

Clapham, the Aldo R. Castañeda Professor of Cardiovascular Research at Boston Children’s Hospital and professor of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School, will discuss “Ciliary Ion Channels and Hedgehog Signaling.”

Cilia are finger-like sensory organelles that protrude from the surface of most human cells and are coordinators of hedgehog signaling, which is important in many developmental processes. Ciliary defects cause a number of developmental abnormalities and human diseases.

Clapham and his colleagues recently discovered that two transient receptor potential (TRP) channel proteins regulate ciliary calcium concentration and ciliary signaling.

Clapham earned his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Emory University. He is an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

His lecture, the Elaine Sanders-Bush Lectureship, is sponsored by the Department of Pharmacology. For a complete schedule of the Flexner Discovery Lecture series and archived video of previous lectures, go to

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