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2012 Krebs Lecture

2012 Edwin G. Krebs Lectureship in Molecular Pharmacology

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

Structural mechanisms in the activation of the EGF receptor

by: Dr. John Kuriyan
University of California, Berkeley
Division Head: Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology
HHMI Investigator

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Dr. John Kuriyan is Professor at the University of California Berkeley in the Departments of Molecular & Cell Biology and Chemistry. He is also a Faculty Scientist in Berkeley Lab's Physical Biosciences Division, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. Dr. Kuriyan received his B.S. in Chemistry from Juniata College in Pennsylvania, followed by his Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, working with Professor Gregory Petsko and Professor Martin Karplus. He was a faculty member at Rockefeller University from 1987 to 2001, when he joined the faculty at the University of California Berkeley.

Dr. Kuriyan is a leader in understanding the structural basis for two crucial cellular processes-processive DNA replication and cell signaling through protein phosphorylation. His work on cell signaling over more than 20 years has given dramatic new insights into how the catalytic activity of protein kinases is controlled by linked conformational changes. These insights have had a major impact on understanding how cellular signals are transmitted via protein phosphorylation. Moreover, his work on the drug Gleevec and its molecular target, the cAbl protein kinase in leukemia cells, has revealed how this kinase inhibitor works at the atomic level and how resistance mutations that arise in cancer patients during treatment with Gleevec prevent its actions. This work promises to lead to broadly important advances in treatment of cancers with kinase inhibitors.

Dr. Kuriyan's work has been recognized by numerous honors and awards, including the Schering-Plough Award of the American Society of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, the DuPont-Merck Award of the Protein Society, the Eli Lilly Award of the American Chemical Society, the Cornelius Rhoads Memorial Award of the American Association for Cancer Research, the Richard Lounsbery Award of the US National Academy of Sciences, and most recently the Merck Award of the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2009. He was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2001 and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2008.