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1996 Krebs Lecture

1996 Edwin G. Krebs Lectureship in Molecular Pharmacology

The Ninth Annual Edwin G. Krebs Lecture in Molecular Pharmacology
Sponsored by an endowment from Sterling Winthrop, Inc.
cAMP-dependent Protein Kinase: Structural Insights for Regulation and Catalysis
Eric R. Kandel, M.D.
University Professor and Director, Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, Columbia University; Senior Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Wednesday, April 17, 1996
3:30 PM, Room T-625 HSC

Dr. Kandel is a leader in the study of synaptic plasticity and mechanisms involved in simple forms of learning and memory. His work was instrumental in establishing that modulation of ion channels by protein phosphorylation is a critical step in the changes in synaptic function that cause sensitization and habituation of a simple reflex behavior in the marine mollusk Aplysia californica. These changes are also accompanied by sustained changes in the structure of the synaptic connections among Aplysia neurons. Recently he has turned his attention to studies of synaptic plasticity in the mammalian brain. Focusing on long-term potentiation in the hippocampus, he has shown that activation of protein phosphorylation pathways is also necessary for this form of synaptic plasticity. Current experiments implicate cAMP-dependent regulation of gene expression as an important element of the late phase of long-term potentiation. Dr. Kandel's work illustrates the power of combining the methods of molecular and cellular biology with electrophysiological and behavioral approaches in analyzing the complex regulatory processes involved in synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory.

Dr. Kandel received a B.A. from Harvard College and an M.D. from New York University School of Medicine. Following internship and residency training in psychiatry, he joined the faculty of Harvard Medical School as Senior Research Psychiatrist and later moved as Associate Professor to the Departments of Physiology and Psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine where he became chief of the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at the Public Health Research Institute of the City of New York in 1968. He moved to Columbia University in 1983 where he is currently University Professor, Director of the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, and Senior Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He is a member of the U.S., French, and German National Academies of Sciences, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He currently serves as an advisory board member of the McKnight and Klingenstein Foundations and he recently began a term as a member of the Advisory Committee to the Director of the NIH. His research has been recognized by numerous distinguished lectureships and awards including the New York Academy of Sciences Award in Biological and Medical Sciences, the Gairdner Award, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Award in Neuroscience, the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, and the National Medal of Science.