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The Sir Ernst Chain Lecture 2018: Professor Christopher M. Dobson

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Lecture theatre G16, Sir Alexander Fleming Building

Imperial College London

South Kensington Campus

London

SW7 2AZ

United Kingdom

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Professor Christopher M Dobson, FRS, FMedSci, John Humphrey Plummer Professor of Chemical and Structural Biology at the University of Cambridge, and Master of St John’s College, presents the annual Sir Ernst Chain lecture:

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

Lecture, G16, Sir Alexander Fleming Building: 17.00

Reception, Sir Alexander Fleming Building: 18.00

Seats will be allocated on a first come first served basis. Additional seating will be available in our overflow room which will be showing a livestream of the lecture.

Abstract

Natural proteins are a highly select group of molecules, and their properties have a number of very special characteristics when compared to random sequences of amino acids, including an ability to fold into unique and often highly intricate structures that can remain functional within the complex milieu of living systems. Such characteristics have enabled biological systems to generate a vast range of functions and an astonishing degree of specificity in their chemical processes. Because proteins are involved in virtually every chemical process taking place within living systems, however, the failure of proteins to fold correctly or to remain within their correctly folded states can give rise to serious cellular malfunctions that frequently lead to disease. One particularly important group of such diseases is associated with the aggregation of misfolded proteins into ‘amyloid’ structures, and includes disorders ranging from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and type II diabetes. Such conditions already affect over 500 million people, a number that is rising rapidly in the modern world, and at present they cannot be effectively treated or prevented. This talk will give an overview of this field of science and discuss recent progress in understanding the nature and properties of the amyloid state, the kinetics and mechanism of its formation, the nature and origins of its links with disease and the manner in which its formation may be inhibited or suppressed for therapeutic purposes.

Biography

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.

About the Sir Ernst Chain Lecture

The Sir Ernst Chain Lecture is an annual lecture organised by the Department of Life Sciences.

It is named after the Nobel Laureate Sir Ernst Chain, who was Professor of Biochemistry at Imperial. He was a joint-winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology in 1945, alongside Professor Sir Alexander Fleming, who was at St Mary's Hospital, and Sir Howard Florey for the discovery of Penicillin.

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Date and Time

Location

Lecture theatre G16, Sir Alexander Fleming Building

Imperial College London

South Kensington Campus

London

SW7 2AZ

United Kingdom

View Map

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