UW News

April 21, 2005

UW Biochemistry graduate to present Hans Neurath Lecture

Dr. Robert Roeder, a biochemist and molecular biologist now at the Rockefeller University in New York City, will present the Department of Biochemistry’s 21st annual Hans Neurath Lecture at 3:30 p.m., Thursday, May 5, in room T-625 of the Health Sciences Center. The Neurath Lectures are co-sponsored by the UW Department of Biochemistry and ZymoGenetics, Inc.

Roeder, who earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the UW in 1969, will speak on “Regulatory Mechanisms in Animal Cells.” The lecture is open to everyone.

For the past 35 years, Roeder has pioneered studies of genetic regulatory mechanisms in animal cells. He has identified nuclear enzymes that directly transcribe genes, accessory factors that act on specific genes and cells, and a variety of co-activators that are also involved in the transcription process. His pioneering work in this area began as a graduate student at the UW with Professor William J. Rutter.

Work from his laboratory has established various levels of gene transcription control and the structural complexity of the system.

Now the Arnold O. and Mable S. Beckman professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the Rockefeller University, Roeder was at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis prior to his Rockefeller appointment. He has received numerous awards, including the Gairdner Foundation International Award and the Albert Lasker Award in Basic Medical Research. He is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The lecture is named for Dr. Hans Neurath, who was the founding chair of the School of Medicine’s Department of Biochemistry and served in that position from 1950 until 1975. He also founded the journal Biochemistry and was its editor for 30 years. He continued his research, which was supported for 46 years by the National Institutes of Health, until past his 90th birthday. He died in 2002.