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Role of hormones, potential new treatments topic of UH lecture

While estrogen is essential for many of the body's normal processes in both men and women, it also plays a role in diseases such as breast, ovarian and prostate cancer. The impact of this hormone on such diseases will be addressed during a lecture Sept. 25 at the University of Houston (UH).

Dr. Jan-ke Gustafsson, biochemistry professor and director of the Center for Nuclear Receptors and Cell Signaling at UH, will present "Hormones in Health and Disease." He will be the third speaker in a UH lecture series highlighting the impact of science on health and society.

The lecture will focus on the discovery and functions of estrogen receptor beta (ERbeta) and its impact on drug delivery and disease. A steroid hormone found in both males and females, estrogen binds to and activates the estrogen receptors, triggering the regulation of gene expression.

In 1995, Gustafsson and his research group discovered there are two estrogen receptors instead of one. The discovery of ERbeta was a major and unexpected breakthrough. He is now proving the theories arising from that initial discovery. Due to its broad influence in the human body, ERbeta is a premier target for drug delivery and therapies.

"Estrogen and estrogen receptors are found in tissues ranging from the central nervous system, to breast tissue and the cardiovascular system," Gustafsson said. "ERbeta also regulates functions in the ovary, testis, prostate, kidney, bone and colon. Today, researchers are exploring the receptor as a target for drugs in treatments of neurological diseases, psychological disorders and cancer."

Sponsored by the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (NSM), the Friends of NSM Distinguished Lecture Series features leading scientists and physicians addressing breakthroughs in science that will alter the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, as well as impact the delivery of medical care. The lectures are free and open to the public.


Jan-ke Gustafsson, M.D., Ph.D.

Robert A. Welch Professor of Chemistry

Director, Center for Nuclear Receptors and Cell Signaling at UH


Lecture: "Hormones in Health and Disease"

Friends of NSM Distinguished Lecture Series: Science Impacting Health and Society


7 8 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 25


University of Houston
Rockwell Pavilion, second floor of the UH M.D. Anderson Library
Off Calhoun Road, Entrance 1


Contact: Lisa Merkl
University of Houston

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