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1991 Krebs Lecture

1991 Edwin G. Krebs Lectureship in Molecular Pharmacology

The Fourth Annual Edwin G. Krebs Lecture in Molecular Pharmacology
Sponsored by an endowment from the Sterling Research Group
Signal Transduction in the Nervous System
Paul Greengard, Ph.D.
Professor and Head, Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, Rockefeller University

Wednesday, June 12, 1991
3:30 PM, Room T-625 HSC

Dr. Greengard is a leading investigator of the actions of protein kinases in cellular regulation in the nervous system. His work on cAMP-dependent protein kinase provided the first evidence for the wide-spread distribution of this enzyme in nature, and he advanced the hypothesis that the kinase has broad significance in transmission of the cyclic AMP signal. He furnished early evidence for the importance of the kinase in nervous system function, and subsequent work identified the cGMP-dependent protein kinase and the multifunctional calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase as major protein kinases in neurons. Numerous neuron-specific substrates for protein kinases were first recognized in these studies including the synapsins, a family of proteins which mediate cytoskeletal attachment and movement of synaptic vesicles. His group first described the regulation of adenylate cyclase in the brain by the neurotransmitter dopamine and the regulation of neurotransmitter-gated ion channels by protein phosphorylation. His recent work has focused on the physiological implications of phosphorylation of specific proteins during neuronal function and has demonstrated a role for phosphorylation of the synapsins in regulating neurotransmitter release and for phosphorylation of neuronal phosphoprotein phosphatases in mediating the synaptic actions of neurotransmitters. Dr. Greengard's research exemplifies the goal of research in molecular pharmacology, to provide insight into the molecular basis for the actions of hormones and drugs.

Dr. Greengard received a Ph.D. in Neurophysiology from Johns Hopkins University. After a period of postdoctoral study in England and at the National Institutes of Health, he joined Geigy Research Laboratories as Director of the Department of Biochemistry and held a concurrent appointment in the Department of Pharmacology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He moved to Yale University as Professor of Pharmacology and Psychiatry in 1968, and assumed his present post at Rockefeller University in 1983. Dr. Greengard has been a member of the editorial boards of numerous journals and was the founding editor of Advances in Biochemical Psychopharmacology and Advances in Cyclic Nucleotide and Protein Phosphorylation Research. His research contributions have been recognized by election to the National Academy of Sciences and by selection for numerous distinguished lectureships and awards including the 3M Life Sciences Award of the Federation of American Societies of Experimental Biology, the Pfizer Biomedical Research Award. the Bristol-Myers Award for Distinguished Achievement in Neuroscience Research, and the National Academy of Sciences Award in the Neurosciences.