Navigation Links
UT Southwestern scientist shares 2011 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Date:10/3/2011

DALLAS Oct. 3, 2011 Dr. Bruce A. Beutler, the new director of the Center for the Genetics of Host Defense at UT Southwestern Medical Center, today shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with two other scientists for their discoveries in how the immune system works.

Dr. Beutler and Dr. Jules A. Hoffmann of Strasbourg University's Institut de Biologie Molculaire et Cellulaire in France shared half the prize for their discovery of receptor proteins that recognize disease-causing agents and activate innate immunity, the first step in the bodys immune response. The other half went to the late Dr. Ralph M. Steinman of Rockefeller University in New York for his discovery of the dendritic cell and its role in adaptive immunity.

UT Southwestern faculty members now have won five Nobel Prizes since 1985. Dr. Michael Brown and Dr. Joseph Goldstein (1985), Dr. Johann Deisenhofer (1988), Dr. Alfred Gilman (1994) and Dr. Beutler (2011) have been honored by the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.

Dr. Beutler, who returned this month to UT Southwestern, where he made his seminal discoveries, was searching for a receptor able to bind the bacterial product, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), which can cause life-threatening septic shock, a condition that involves overstimulation of the immune system.

"It's a happy day. I'm absolutely delighted. It reaffirms that the time we spent cloning the LPS receptor gene at UT Southwestern in the 1990s was time well spent," Dr. Beutler said.

Dr. Beutler's original studies at UT Southwestern, where he was a faculty member and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator from 1986 to 2000, led to the identification of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) as a key mediation of inflammation and to the identification of Toll-like receptors as sensors that act like sentinels to alert the host immune system when infection is present.

In 1998, Beutler and his colleagues discovered that mice resistant to LPS had a mutation in a gene that was quite similar to the Toll gene of the fruit fly. This Toll-like receptor (TLR) turned out to be the elusive LPS receptor. When it binds LPS, signals are activated that cause inflammation and, when LPS doses are excessive, results in septic shock. These findings showed that mammals and fruit flies use similar molecules to activate innate immunity when encountering pathogenic microorganisms. Dr. Beutler's laboratory had discovered the sensors of innate immunity.

The discoveries of Drs. Beutler and Hoffmann triggered an explosion of research in innate immunity. About a dozen different TLRs have now been identified in humans and mice.

UT Southwestern President Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky hailed the impact of Dr. Beutler's work on many disease processes.

"His discoveries have led to recognition of a new dimension of immune response, with profound implications for understanding our ability to respond to both infectious diseases and cancer. They are already leading to development of new therapeutic agents that represent new paradigms for treatment," Dr. Podolsky said.

"Undoubtedly the powerful genetic approaches that he used in making these discoveries will continue to yield profound new insights into mechanisms of molecular function and disease. We are especially delighted by his return to UT Southwestern where he did his initial groundbreaking work and know that he will continue in his path of important discovery for many years to come," Dr. Podolsky added.

Dr. Greg Fitz, executive vice president for academic affairs, provost and dean of UT Southwestern Medical School, said, "Dr. Beutler's scientific contributions to understanding innate immunity are profound, and already have opened new vistas into how we respond to bacteria and well beyond. We are just delighted by this news. He has an incredibly sophisticated approach, and all of his work from discovery of the LPS receptor gene onward is at the very highest level. He is now leading a new Center for the Genetics of Host Defense, and I am convinced that the best may be yet to come."

Dr. Beutler received the Shaw Prize in Sept. 28 award ceremonies in Hong Kong, sharing that honor with two other scientists. In 2008, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, and was also named to the Institute of Medicine.

Prior to his return to UT Southwestern, Dr. Beutler was chairman of the Department of Genetics at Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif.

The medical center's Nobel history began when Dr. Brown and Dr. Goldstein received the 1985 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for their discovery of the basic mechanisms of cholesterol metabolism. Their findings led to the development of the cholesterol-lowering statin drugs.

Dr. Deisenhofer received the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1988 for using X-ray crystallography to describe the 3-D structure of a protein molecule. This structure helped explain the process of photosynthesis.

In 1994 Dr. Gilman received the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for his discovery of G proteins, research that has led to a more complete understanding of how cells receive signals and respond to external stimuli.


'/>"/>

Contact: Deborah Wormser
deborah.wormser@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Urine protein test might help diagnose kidney damage from lupus, UT Southwestern researchers find
2. UT Southwestern researchers uncover Fragile X syndrome genes role in shaping brain
3. UT Southwestern participates in nationwide study offering free lung tumor genetic testing
4. Belly fat or hip fat -- it really is all in your genes, says UT Southwestern researcher
5. Novel anti-malarial drug candidate found by UT Southwestern researchers
6. Those with allergic asthma face double trouble during flu season, UT Southwestern findings suggest
7. UT Southwestern investigators perform head-to-head comparison of incontinence treatments
8. UT Southwestern unveils next generation CT scanner that views whole organs in a heartbeat
9. Simple eye test measures damage from multiple sclerosis, UT Southwestern researchers find
10. Interferon might help asthma patients breathe easier, UT Southwestern study suggests
11. UT Southwesterns cancer center earns National Cancer Institute designation
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements ... was developed to enhance the health of felines. The formula is all-natural and is ... herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These women need a treatment plan ... require a comprehensive approach that can help for preservation of fertility and ultimately ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents ... the American College of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and ... highly effective treatment for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Viejo, California (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... to fit their specific project," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. ... fully customizable and all within Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a ... Magna Cum Laude and his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at ... returned to Los Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... offering. The current unmet ... for MedImmune to enter. The US ageing population creates a ... considerable growth for effective anti-influenza medications. The introduction of a ... development is still in its infancy. Key ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... and BOGOTA, Colombia , June 23, 2016  Astellas today announced the establishment of Astellas Farma ... as the company,s second affiliate in Latin America . ... ... Astellas Farma Colombia ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has ... Global Analysis (United States, China, Japan, Brazil, United Kingdom, ... their offering. Surgical ... business planners, provides surgical procedure volume data in a ... an in-depth analysis of growth drivers and inhibitors, including ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: