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ASU Science Lectureship to Feature Renowned Biological Researcher

February 23, 2011

Dr. Susan L. Lindquist, a member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, will deliver the 35th annual West Texas Medical Associates Distinguished Lectureship in Science Honoring Dr. Roy E. Moon on Tuesday, March 22, in the ASU Houston Harte University Center, 1910 Rosemont Drive.

Lindquist’s talk, titled “Using Very Simple Organisms to Help Solve Very Difficult Diseases,” will begin at 8 p.m. March 22 in the University Center’s C.J. Davidson Conference Center. Prior to the public lecture, Lindquist will also meet with ASU students to discuss “Lamarck Redux: Prions, Hsp90, and the Inheritance of Environmentally Acquired Traits” at 2 p.m. Both lectures are open free to the public.

A pioneer in the study of protein folding, Lindquist established that the state of protein equilibrium has profound and completely unexpected effects on normal biology and disease. Her work also established the molecular basis for protein-based mechanisms of inheritance. More recently, she has built tractable genetic models of complex protein misfolding diseases, including Parkinson’s and Huntington’s, which are providing new insights on the underlying causes of these ailments.

Lindquist is also a professor of biology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and an associate member of the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT.

The author of more than 170 peer-reviewed research papers, Lindquist has also done more than 65 reviews and solicited reports on other research and edited two books, “Heat Shock” and “The Stress Induced Proteins.” She serves on the editorial boards of numerous industry publications, including International Journal of Molecular Medicine and Public Library of Science. She also holds 23 U.S. and international patents for research methods and findings.

A widely sought after speaker, Lindquist has delivered dozens of lectures throughout the world, has appeared in numerous video and Internet documentaries, and is a regular guest on various radio networks, including ABC News and National Public Radio.

Her many honors and awards include a 2010 National Medal of Science awarded by President Barack Obama as well as the Dickson Prize in Medicine, Sigma Xi William Procter Prize for Scientific Achievement, Centennial Medal of the Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Otto-Warburg Prize, Genetics Society of America Medal and FASEB Excellence in Science Award. Her elected memberships in numerous worldwide science societies include the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine, among many others. She is also on the board of directors of Johnson & Johnson.

Lindquist received her Ph.D. in biology from Harvard University and was a post-doctoral fellow of the American Cancer Society at the University of Chicago. She received her bachelor’s degree in microbiology from the University of Illinois.

The WTMA Lectureship honors Dr. Roy E. Moon, a longtime San Angelo obstetrician and gynecologist, who died in 1976. He practiced for 28 years with Clinic Hospital Medical Associates, now West Texas Medical Associates. The lectureship was established in 1976 and is underwritten by a grant to ASU from members of WTMA.

Each year, the lectureship brings a scientist of national prominence to ASU for public lectures, colloquia and informal discussions.

The selection committee is chaired by Dr. Grady Price Blount, dean of the ASU College of Sciences, and includes Dr. Crosby Jones, professor of biology; Dr. Toni Sauncy, associate professor of physics; Dr. John Osterhout, head of the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department; and WTMA physicians, Dr. Patrick Gibson, Dr. Deborah Hajovsky, Dr. Brian Bradley and Dr. Fazlur Rahman.

For more information, call the ASU College of Sciences at 942-2024.