Skip Navigation
Angelo State University

Search Site

Information for:

February 2001

Release Date: February 5, 2001

Nobel Laureate to Present Moon Lecture Feb. 27 at ASU

The Roy E. Moon Distinguished Lectureship in Science will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a Feb. 27 presentation by Dr. Ferid Murad, the 1998 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine.

Murad received the Nobel Prize for identifying the exact chemical mechanism by which nitroglycerin eases heart pain. His discovery has been called one of the most important in the history of cardiovascular medicine.

The 2001 Moon lecturer is professor and chair of the Department of Integrative Biology, Pharmacology and Physiology, and director of the Institute of Molecular Medicine at the University of Texas-Houston Health Science Center. His free public lecture on Feb. 27 will be on the topic "Cells Use Nitric Oxide to Talk to Each Other." The lecture will be in the C.J. Davidson Conference Center in the Houston Harte University Center

Dr. Murad's research found that nitric oxide, among its many functions, signals blood vessels to relax and widen, thus lowering blood pressure. By releasing nitric oxide into the bloodstream, nitroglycerin helped ease angina pain in heart patients, he discovered. Subsequent studies based upon his research showed that nitric oxide helped prevent blood clots and relaxed the smooth muscle cells in the lungs and gastrointestinal systems.

His research has opened the doors for the future formulation of new medications to stimulate or inhibit the production of nitric oxide in the body. Such drugs will be able to treat a variety of conditions, including heart disease, stroke, shock, cancer, retinal diseases, infertility, bacterial infections and inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and colitis.

The Moon Lectureship was established by five of Dr. Moon's colleagues in 1976 in memory of the San Angelo physician. The lecture has been funded annually by a grant from the physicians of West Texas Medical Associates. The lectureship brings scientists of national prominence to the ASU campus each year for public lectures, colloquia, classroom visits and informal discussions.

"For 25 years the Moon Lectureship has provided the opportunity for the campus and the local community to hear and interact with scientists of international stature," said David Loyd, dean of sciences at ASU and chair of the Moon Lectureship committee. "In honoring Dr. Moon with this lecture series, the members of West Texas Medical Associates have enhanced the intellectual experience both for our students and for area residents. We are grateful to West Texas Medical Associates for their ongoing support of ASU and this lecture."

Members of the Moon Lecture selection committee are Loyd, Patrick E. Gibson, M.D., John T. Granaghan, Jr., M.D., Crosby W. Jones, Jr., Ph.D., C. Varren Parker, Jr., Ph.D., Fazlur Rahman, M.D., Jane Rider, M.D., and George E. Shankle, Ph.D.