July 24, 2002
Nobel Laureate to Speak on "Genetic Defenses Against Heart Attacks"
WOODS HOLE, MA Michael S. Brown, recipient of the 1985 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine and Director of the M.D./Ph.D. Program at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas will present the next lecture in the Marine Biological Laboratory's (MBL's) 2002 Friday Evening Lecture Series. The lecture will be held on Friday, July 26 at 8:00 PM in the MBL's Lillie Auditorium, located on MBL Street in Woods Hole. The presentation is free and open to the public. Dr. David L. Garbers, co-director of the MBLs Physiology course and the Cecil H. & Ida Green Distinguished Chair in Reproductive Biology Sciences and Director of the Center for Reproductive Biology Sciences at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and will introduce Dr. Brown.
The average American maintains a blood cholesterol level that is above the 90th percentile for the human species considered as a whole. This accounts for the 10-fold higher rate of heart attacks in the U.S. as compared with countries where the diet is low in fat and cholesterol. In his lecture titled, "Genetic Defenses Against Heart Attacks," Dr. Brown will discuss how the body controls the level of cholesterol in blood, why some people are more sensitive to high fat diets than others, and why these control mechanisms don't protect us from high fat diets.
Answers to these questions are emerging from studies of proteins called transcription factors that control the bodys production of cholesterol and regulate the synthesis of receptors that remove cholesterol from blood. Dr. Brown's laboratory has isolated the genes for these proteins and is beginning to understand the intricate mechanism by which they control the level of cholesterol in blood and cells. Some of these proteins are activated by drugs called statins, and this explains the remarkable ability of statins to lower blood cholesterol and reduce heart attacks. These discoveries, and others in the field, raise the hope that medical science may terminate the heart disease epidemic early in this century.
Michael S. Brown received his B.A. in 1962 and his M.D. in 1966 from the University of Pennsylvania. He was an Intern and Resident in Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts from 1966 to 1968. He was then a Clinical Associate in the Digestive and Hereditary Disease Branch of the National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases from1968 to1970 and a Guest Worker in the Laboratory of Biochemistry at the National Heart Institute from 1970 to1971. At the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dr. Brown was an Assistant and then Associate Professor of Medicine before becoming Professor of Medicine in 1976. Since 1977, Dr. Brown has been the Paul J. Thomas Professor of Medicine and Genetics, as well as the Director of the Jonsson Center for Molecular Genetics at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. Since 1985, Dr. Brown has been a Regental Professor of the University of Texas. Since 1989, he has been a Distinguished Chair in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, where he has been Director of the M.D./Ph.D. Program since 1996. Dr. Brown is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, and the American Philosophical Society, among others. In 1985, Dr. Brown and Joseph L. Goldstein were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Dr. Brown has received numerous other awards, most recently the Warren Alpert Foundation Prize from Harvard Medical School, also with Joseph L. Goldstein. Dr. Brown also sits on several editorial and advisory boards.
David L. Garbers will introduce Dr. Brown. Dr. Garbers received his B.S. in 1966, his M.S. in 1970, and his Ph.D. in 1972 from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He then did postdoctoral work at Vanderbilt University from 1972 to 1974. Dr. Garbers held numerous positions at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine between from 1974 to 1990 including Assistant Professor of Physiology, Professor of Pharmacology and Physiology, and Professor of Pharmacology and Molecular Physiology and Biophysics. In 1984-85, Dr. Garbers was the Visiting Professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. From 1994 to 1999, Dr. Garbers held the Patrick E. Haggerty Distinguished Chair in Basic Biomedical Science at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, where he has been Professor of Pharmacology since 1990. Since 1999, he has held the Cecil H. & Ida Green Distinguished Chair in Reproductive Biology Sciences. He has also been Director of the Cecil H. & Ida Green Center for Reproductive Biology Sciences since 1999. Dr. Garbers has been an Investigator at Howard Hughes Medical Institute since 1976, and is currently the co-director of the MBLs Physiology course, a position he has held since 1999. He has received numerous awards and honors, including The Amory Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Society for the Study of Reproduction Research Award, and the Edwin B. Astwood Award from the Endocrine Society. Dr. Garbers sits on the editorial boards of several publications and is a member of several societies, including The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the Biochemical Society.
The Marine Biological Laboratory is an independent scientific institution, founded in 1888, that undertakes the highest level of creative research and education in biology, including the biomedical and environmental sciences.