February 19, 2010

Symposium, lecture set to celebrate Sanders-Bush

Symposium, lecture set to celebrate Sanders-Bush

Renowned Vanderbilt pharmacologist Elaine Sanders-Bush, Ph.D., will be honored Thursday, Feb. 25, with a day-long symposium culminating in a Discovery Lecture by French neuroscientist Jean-Pierre Changeaux, Ph.D.

Elaine Sanders-Bush, Ph.D.

Elaine Sanders-Bush, Ph.D.

A professor of Pharmacology and Psychiatry, Sanders-Bush is internationally recognized for her contributions to understanding the brain chemi-cal serotonin and its receptors.

She is equally well known for mentoring young scientists, some of whom will speak at the symposium.

Changeaux, honorary professor at the Collège de France and emeritus professor at the Institut Pasteur, identified the first neurotransmitter receptor, for nicotinic acetylcholine, and described how its function can be modulated not only through its active site but through different, “allosteric” sites.

The discovery opened up new fields of research in signal transduction, nerve cell communication and molecular pharmacology.

Jean-Pierre Changeaux, Ph.D.

Jean-Pierre Changeaux, Ph.D.

Changeaux's Discovery Lecture, entitled “The Nicotinic Receptor: An Allosteric Membrane Protein Engaged in Neuronal Communication,” will begin at 4 p.m. in 208 Light Hall, with a reception following at 5 p.m.

The inaugural Elaine Sanders-Bush Symposium will be divided into two parts.

The morning session, to be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the theater on the second floor of the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, will feature:

• Perry Molinoff, Ph.D., professor of Pharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania, “Drug Discovery in the 21st Century;”

• Susan Amara, Ph.D., chair of Neurobiology at the University of Pittsburgh, “Successful Strategies for Women in Science,” and

• Lori McGrew, Ph.D., associate professor of Biology at Belmont University, “Teaching at a Primarily Undergraduate Institution.”
The afternoon session, to be held from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. in 208 Light Hall, will feature:

• Jeffrey Conn, Ph.D., director of the Vanderbilt Program in Drug Discovery, “Allosteric Modulators of GPCRs for Treatment of CNS Disorder;”

• Ronald Emeson, Ph.D., the Joel G. Hardman Professor of Pharmacology at Vanderbilt, “Functional Roles of Edited Serotonin 2C Receptor Isoforms,” and

• Randy Blakely, Ph.D., director of the Vanderbilt Center for Molecular Neuroscience, “Genetic Alterations of Serotonin Pharmacology and Physiology in Transgenic Mice.”

For more information about the symposium, go to www.mc.vanderbilt.edu/pharmacology and click on “Events” and the date (Feb. 25) on the calendar.

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