Archive of Stetten Lectures
10/18/1995 8:00 PM
10/18/1995 8:00 AM
Harpooning viruses, coiled proteins, and new approaches to drug design fill the publications of Dr. Peter Kim, who will present the DeWitt Stetten, Jr. Lecture on Wednesday, October 18.
The lecture, entitled "Design of Proteins and Drugs," will start at 3:00 p.m. in the Masur Auditorium of the Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center (Building 10) on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) campus.
Dr. Kim, a protein chemist, is a member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and a professor of biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Since 1993, he has also been an associate investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
His research on protein folding and structure provides groundwork for designing molecules that are biologically active, free from toxic side effects, and resistant to breakdown within cells. On a number of occasions he has challenged--and disproven--prevailing models in his field.
Dr. Kim has contributed greatly to the understanding of the leucine zipper, a structural motif found in many of the proteins known to play a roe in cancer.
In 1993 Dr. Kim attracted significant attention after discovering how flu viruses infect their victims. He found that viruses use a spring-loaded, harpoon-like mechanism to embed themselves into living cells. In his lecture he will reveal how this mechanism is used by a particular mouse leukemia virus. He suspects a similar mechanism is also at work in respiratory syncytial virus, a common childhood virus, and HIV.
The Stetten Lecture, which is sponsored by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, honors Dr. DeWitt Stetten, Jr., who directed the Institute from 1970 to 1974. Dr. Stetten had a strong commitment to basic research, especially in the areas of genetics, cellular and molecular biology, and chemistry. The lecture series is in its 14th year.
NIGMS is regarded as the "basic science institute" of NIH because it focuses its grant support on fundamental, non-disease-targeted investigations in the biomedical sciences. Such basic research contributes new information and concepts that can improve the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of human disease. NIGMS' programs encompass the disciplines of cell biology, biophysics, genetics, developmental biology, pharmacology, physiology, biological chemistry, and minority biomedical research and training. The Institute has supported Dr. Kim's work since 1986.
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