The Annual Alexander Pines Lecture: The Amyloid Phenomenon and its Significance for Human Disease

Seminar | April 25 | 4-5 p.m. |  Pitzer Auditorium, 120 Latimer Hall

 Prof. Christopher Dobson, Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge

 College of Chemistry

Interest in the phenomenon of amyloid formation by peptides and proteins has developed with extraordinary rapidity in recent years, such that is now a major topic of research across a wide range of disciplines. The reasons for this surge of interest arise both from the links between amyloid formation and a range of rapidly proliferating medical disorders, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, and from the insights that an understanding of the amyloid state can provide about the nature of the biologically functional forms of proteins. Recent progress in understanding the factors affecting the stability of the amyloid state relative to that of the native state of a protein, along with the development of methods for defining the mechanism of the conversion between the different states, has led to a detailed understanding of the links between protein aggregation, amyloid formation and human disease. This talk will give an overview of recent advances in this field of study and discuss recent progress towards understanding the structural and physical properties of the amyloid state, the kinetics and mechanism of its formation, and the nature and origins of its links with pathogenesis. In addition, the talk will discuss the ways in which protein aggregation and amyloid formation may be inhibited or suppressed, both to understand the nature of protein homeostasis in naturally functioning organisms and also to address the development of therapeutic strategies through which to combat the loss of homeostasis and the onset and progression of disease.

 Light refreshments at The Coffee Lab at 3:50pm, 510-643-0572