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Internationally Acclaimed Researcher Joins UH Faculty
Date:2/5/2009

receptor, named ER-beta, to battle a number of diseases, including breast, prostate and lung cancers. (In some instances, the abnormal cell division that creates cancerous tumors can be slowed down or stopped by stimulating the receptor.)

"We envision Jan-Ake's research program to not only span our colleges and departments -- but also the region, by partnering with institutions within the Texas Medical Center and rapidly establishing international prominence," said Don Birx, vice chancellor for research for the UH System and vice president for research at UH.

UH and TMHRI applied this summer for a superiority grant from the state's Emerging Technology Fund to establish the Center for Nuclear Receptors and Cell Signaling, a research enterprise aimed at better understanding the relationship between nuclear receptors and disease detection, management and treatment.

Gustafsson has a solid track record for commercializing his discoveries, and he is co-founder of KaroBio AB, a biotechnology company on the Karolinska campus, along with Dr. John D. Baxter, who joined TMHRI this year.

"Jan-Ake's team will provide leadership that aligns with UH's shared strategic vision to engage the major issues of our time in ways that significantly impact the lives of those around the world," Birx said. "His scientific and commercialization expertise will capitalize on and serve Texas' desire to lead in medical discovery -- particularly in cancer diagnostics and therapy."

Gustafsson's work on other nuclear hormone receptors lends itself to new treatments for metabolic syndrome, including atherosclerosis, Type 2 diabetes and nonalcoholic hepatic steatosis, also known as fatty liver. He also has found evidence that the roles played by estrogen receptors and nuclear hormone receptors in the brain may be manipulated to treat neurodegeneration, Parkinson's disease, Lou Gehrig's disease, depression and other mo
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SOURCE University of Houston
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