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April 2006

Release Date: April 4, 2006

WTMA Science Lecturer Hood to Speak on Systems Biology

Dr. Leroy Hood, president of the Institute for Systems Biology and the 30th annual West Texas Medical Associates Distinguished Lecturer in Science, honoring Dr. Roy E. Moon, will speak on how systems biology will revolutionize the study of the human body Tuesday, April 11.

He will give the lecture "Systems Biology and the Coming Revolution in Medicine" at 8 p.m. Tuesday in the C.J. Davidson Conference Center. He will speak to students at 2 p.m. that same day.

Hood is an accomplished academic whose contributions to biotechnology have helped scientists map the human genome. After stops at California Institute of Technology and the University of Washington, he founded the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle to pioneer systems approaches to biology and medicine.

Hood is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the American Association of Arts and Sciences, and the Institute of Medicine. He holds 14 patents and has co-authored numerous textbooks.

The concept of systems biology originated with Hood, and it will be the topic of his lecture. Instead of analyzing individual components or aspects of an organism, such as cells, genes or proteins, systems biologists focus on all the components and the interactions among them, all as part of one system.

As scientists have delved deeper into the foundations of biological activity, they have learned that components such as proteins and genes almost never work alone. They interact with other molecules in highly structured, yet incredibly complex ways.

Systems biology seeks to understand these complex interactions, as these are the keys to truly understanding life.

The WTMA Lecture honors Dr. Roy Moon, a longtime San Angelo obstetrician and gynecologist, who died in 1976. The lectureship was established the same year and is underwritten by West Texas Medical Associates.

Past lecturers have included 10 Nobel Prize-winners, including Dr. Linus Pauling, Dr. Frederick C. Robbins and Dr. F. Sherwood Rowland.

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