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Noted neuroscientist Gouaux set for Discovery Lecture

Feb. 15, 2018, 9:17 AM

Eric Gouaux, PhD, whose work has helped reveal the molecular mechanisms by which nerve cells communicate, will deliver the next Flexner Discovery Lecture on Thursday, Feb. 22.

Eric Gouaux, PhD

Gouaux is senior scientist and the Jennifer and Bernard Lacroute Term Chair in Neuroscience Research at the Vollum Institute at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in Portland, Oregon. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

His lecture, “Mechanisms of signal transduction and clearance at the chemical synapses of the brain,” will begin at 4 p.m. in Room 208 Light Hall. The lecture is sponsored by the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics and the Center for Structural Biology.

Gouaux and his colleagues use X-ray crystallography, electrophysiology and other methods to study the function of receptors and transporters, which regulate the supply of chemical messengers called neurotransmitters in the synapse, or gap between nerve cells.

In 2016 he received the Anatrace Membrane Protein Award from the Biophysical Society for his work on the atomic structure of transporters and receptor ion channels that in the words of the society “has revolutionized our understanding of the molecules underlying synaptic transmission in the brain.”

Gouaux earned his BA and PhD degrees in Chemistry at Harvard University. After postdoctoral work at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he joined the faculty at the University of Chicago in 1993. He spent nine years at Columbia University before coming to OHSU in 2005.

For a complete schedule of the Flexner Discovery Lecture series and archived video of previous lectures, go to

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