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May 15, 2003

Annual Krebs Lecture brings Roger Davis to campus

“Signal Transduction by Stress-Activated Protein Kinases” is the title for the 16th annual Edwin G. Krebs Lecture in Molecular Pharmacology at 4 p.m., Tuesday, May 27, in room T-625 of the Health Sciences Center. The lecture is open to everyone.

The speaker is Dr. Roger Davis, H. Arthur Smith chair of cancer research and professor of molecular medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He is also an investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Davis is a leader in research on signal transduction pathways in cells, important for regulation of cell growth, division and survival.

After the mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase pathway was first described in the early 1990s, Davis focused on that family of protein kinases and made a series of landmark discoveries concerning the many MAP signaling pathways and their functions in the body. He showed that a certain pathway controls cellular responses to various forms of physical stress, including osmotic shock and exposure to toxins.

His work also revealed that activation of certain other specific signaling pathways plays a critical role in cell death, immune responses and cell proliferation.

Davis earned a bachelor’s degree and a Ph.D. in biochemistry at Cambridge University in Great Britain. After postdoctoral research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, he joined the faculty there in 1986. He has been editor of the journal Molecular & Cellular Biology since 1997 and is also a member of the editorial board of Genes and Development. He was named a fellow of the Royal Society of London in 2002.

Dr. Edwin Krebs, for whom the lecture is named, won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1992 with Dr. Edmond Fischer, UW professor emeritus of biochemistry. Krebs is UW professor emeritus of pharmacology and biochemistry. He is internationally known for his pioneering work in unraveling the complex pathways by which hormones and drugs regulate cellular function through protein phosphorylation.

Krebs first joined the School of Medicine faculty in 1948. He was chair of the Department of Pharmacology from 1977 until 1983. He has received many other honors for his fundamental work on protein kinases and their role in cellular regulation.