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McConnell Lectureship: Professor Chris Dobson, University of Cambridge

Chris Dobson
April 26, 2017 -
4:30pm to 5:30pm
Sapp Center Lecture Hall

McConnell Lectureship: Professor Chris Dobson, University of Cambridge, Sapp Center Lecture Hall, 4:30pm (Host: Steve Boxer)

About the Seminar

"The Amyloid State of Proteins and its Significance in Biology and Medicine"

Interest in the phenomenon of amyloid formation by peptides and proteins has developed with extraordinary rapidity in recent years, such that it is now a major topic of research across a wide range of disciplines. The reasons for this surge of interest arise primarily from the links between amyloid formation and a range of rapidly proliferating medical disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and type-2 diabetes, and also from the insights that studies of the amyloid state can provide about the nature of the biologically functional forms of peptides and proteins and the means of the maintenance of protein homeostasis within healthy living systems. Recent progress in understanding the factors affecting the stability of the amyloid state relative to that of the native state of a protein, along with the development of methods for defining the mechanism of the conversion between the different states, has led to a much more detailed understanding of the links between protein aggregation, amyloid formation and human disease. This talk will give an overview of recent advances in this field of study and discuss recent progress from our own laboratory towards understanding the structural and physical properties of the amyloid state, the kinetics and mechanism of its formation, and the nature and origins of its links with disease. In addition, the talk will discuss the ways in which protein aggregation and amyloid formation may be inhibited or suppressed, both to understand the nature of protein homeostasis in naturally functioning organisms and also to address the development of therapeutic strategies through which to combat the loss of homeostasis and the onset and progression of disease.

About the Speaker

Chris Dobson is the John Humphrey Plummer Professor of Chemical and Structural Biology at the University of Cambridge, and Master of St John’s College. He was an undergraduate, graduate student and research fellow at the University of Oxford. He then became an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Harvard University before returning to Oxford where he was a Professor of Chemistry until moving to Cambridge in 2001. His research activities are primarily concerned with discovering the fundamental origins of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, with the objective of identifying new strategies for their prevention or treatment. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Academy of Medical Sciences, and a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Davy Medal and the Royal Medal of the Royal Society and most recently the 2014 Dr H.P. Heineken Prize for Biochemistry and Biophysics from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and the 2014 Feltrinelli International Prize for Medicine of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei in Rome. 
Event Sponsor: 
Chemistry Department

This event belongs to the following series