Nobel laureate to visit Kerala
By Express News Service | Published: 11th October 2013 11:30 AM |
Nobel laureate Ferid Murad, co-discoverer of the surprising biological functions of ‘miracle molecule’ Nitric Oxide, is arriving in Kerala next month for a major international symposium organised by the Rajiv Gandhi Centre of Biotechnology (RGCB), in partnership with the Srinivasa Ramanujan Institute for Basic Sciences (SRIBS).
RGCB is hosting the two-day symposium on the ‘’Legacy of Nitric Oxide Discovery: Impact on Disease Biology’’ from November 5-6, 2013, to review the advancements made since the eighties when the simple diatomic gaseous molecule, which was known until then largely as an air pollutant, was discovered to be a bio-messenger involved in many vital physiological and pathological processes.
Nitric Oxide (NO), which was designated molecule of the year in 1992, is a unique bio-signaller, being a free radical gas capable of passing through cell membranes and regulating cellular functions. Insights into the role of NO in cellular pathways and disease biology have paved the way for several scientific and medical breakthroughs.
Murad, who found that Nitric Oxide (NO) is a signaling molecule in the cardiovascular system, causing the dilation of blood vessels, shared the 1998 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery.
Currently a professor at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, George Washington University, Murad will deliver the keynote address at the symposium which will be attended by a number of other international experts in Nitric Oxide biology, besides researchers and scientists from around India.
Some of the other speakers include Ferric C Fang, (University of Washington, USA), David A Wink, (National Cancer Institute, Bethesda Maryland, USA), Arthur L Burnett, (Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland), Jon Lundberg, (Karolinska Institute, Sweden), Dr Vasily A Yakovlev, (Virginia Commonwealth University, USA) and Dr Pradeep Kachroo (University of Kentucky, USA).
Lectures and presentations at the symposium will cover the role of NO in the pathogenesis and treatment of tuberculosis, viral infections, hypertension, cardiac ischemia, diabetes, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, reproductive disorders and plant diseases.
This is the first collaborative programme by RGCB and SRIBS, which was set up earlier this year as a capacity-building initiative of the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment (KSCSTE).