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2011 Krebs Lecture

2011 Edwin G. Krebs Lectureship in Molecular Pharmacology

The Twenty-Fourth Annual Edwin G. Krebs Lecture in Molecular Pharmacology
Sponsored by an endowment from Sterling Winthrop, Inc.

The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor: a model of allosteric membrane protein

by: Prof. Jean-Pierre Changeux
Pasteur Institute

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Dr. Jean-Pierre Changeux is Professor Emeritus at the College de France and Director Emeritus of the Unit of Molecular Neurobiology at the Pasteur Institute, Paris, France. Dr. Changeux earned his doctoral degree from the University of Paris Faculty of Science. After postdoctoral research at the University of California at Berkeley and Columbia University, he joined the faculty at the College de France in 1967, established the Unit of Molecular Neurobiology at the Pasteur Institute in 1972, and served as Professor at both institutions from 1975 to 2006. He is now Skaggs Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of California at San Diego.

Dr. Changeux pioneered the study of the role of conformational changes linking topographically distinct sites in regulatory processes. His PhD studies, carried under the supervision of Jacques Monod, provided the experimental basis for the model of allosteric regulatory interactions in bacterial regulatory enzymes. Building on this pioneering work, he combined approaches from biochemistry, pharmacology, and molecular biology to discovery of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor protein and definition of its structure, function, allosteric properties, regulation, and role in nicotine addiction. His seminal work on the nicotinic receptor and its allosteric modulation has pioneered new fields of research in signal transduction, molecular pharmacology and pathology of chemical communications in the nervous system.

In addition to his basic science work, Dr. Changeux published the influential book Neuronal Man: The Biology of The Mind in 1985 and co-authored several other books on neuroacience.

Dr. Changeux's research has been recognized by the Gairdner Foundation International Award, the Wolf Prize, the Louis Jeantet Prize for Medicine, the Goodman & Gilman Award for Receptor Pharmacology, the Balzan Prize, and the Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, USA and, in 2007, received the NAS Award in Neurosciences.