April 18, 2008

Steroid receptors next up in lecture series

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Ronald Evans, Ph.D.

Steroid receptors next up in lecture series

Ronald Evans, Ph.D., known for his discoveries of nuclear hormone receptors and how they work, will deliver the next Discovery Lecture.

His talk, “Nuclear Receptors: Metabolic Engineering and the Dawn of Synthetic Physiology,” will be at 4 p.m. in 208 Light Hall on Thursday, April 24. A reception in the Light Hall lobby will follow the lecture, which is free and open to the public.

Evans, a professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, cloned the first steroid receptor gene – the gene encoding the glucocorticoid receptor.

The “superfamily” of nuclear receptors now includes nearly 50 receptors which all work by binding an activating molecule – such as a hormone or vitamin – and then heading to the cell nucleus where they alter the activity of target genes. These gene control switches have relevance for understanding and treating cancer, heart disease, diabetes and inflammation.

Evans was a co-recipient of the 2004 Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research, and he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

For a complete schedule of the Discovery Lecture Series and archived video of previous lectures, go to www.mc.vanderbilt.edu/discoveryseries.