Alfred Goldberg, this year’s Severo Ochoa Lecturer, has been at the forefront of the analysis of protein turnover in cells for over 30 years. His interests range from the molecular mechanisms of ATP-dependent proteolytic machines in bacteria and eukaryotic cells to such clinically relevant questions as the proteasome’s role in antigen presentation and the pathophysiology of protein breakdown in muscle during atrophy and cancer cachexia.

Bernard Levine and Joseph Schlessinger established the Ochoa lectureship in 1998 to honor Severo Ochoa, Chairman of the Department of Pharmacology and then of Biochemistry at NYU School of Medicine. Dr. Ochoa and Arthur Kornberg shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1959 for their work on the biological synthesis of ribonucleic acid and deoxyribonucleic acid.

2004 Symposium Topic: The proteasome in protein turnover & antigen presentation to the immune system

Stephen West began studying genetic recombination and DNA repair mechanisms in graduate school and has provided the most comprehensive analysis of human recombination/repair proteins carried out to date. Recently, he has been probing the relationship between recombinational repair and genomic integrity. His investigations have lent biochemical weight to the notion that certain inheritable cancers are due to defects in homologous recombination and associated genome instability.

2004 Symposium Topic: Making ends meet: double-strand break repair in human cells

Daniel Klionsky first became interested in autophagy during his post-doctoral research with Scott Emr. Now a leader in the field, he uses yeast genetics and biochemistry to study the signals and mechanisms by which cytoplasmic proteins and organelles are engulfed by endomembranes and delivered to the lysosome/vacuole for degradation. Interest in autophagy has been piqued recently by evidence that genes functioning in that pathway have important developmental roles in metazoans and are implicated in tumor suppression in mice.

2004 Symposium Topic: Autophagy as a regulated pathway of cellular degradation

Zena Werb has been studying turnover of the extracellular matrix for more than 30 years. This process plays a central role in the life of all multicellular organisms. In mammals it affects processes in development and tissue repair ranging from endochondral bone formation to placental morphogenesis, adipogenesis and branching morphogenesis in the mammary gland and lung, as well as pathological processes such as angiogenesis and tumor initiation, progression and metastasis.

2004 Symposium Topic: The role of extracellular matrix remodeling in development

Monica Driscoll has been interested in non-apoptotic cell mechanisms death with a special focus on the role of ion channel hyperactivation in neuronal death. Recently she has extended her inquiry to the relationship of cell death to the time-dependent process of organismal aging. Her work intersects with fundamental aspects of the pathobiology of neurodegeneration, pancreatic islet dysfunction, ischemic injury and numerous other processes of medical importance.

2004 Symposium Topic: Mechanisms of aging and neurodegeneration in C. elegans: lessons from simple old animals

Stephen Strittmatter has been interested in axonal path-finding, the process by which the growth cone of a developing axon probes its environment and ultimately directs neuro-connectivity. His inquires have led him to analyze interactions between receptors present on the growth cone and molecules in the extracellular space. These have provided novel insight into axonal plasticity and the limits of neuro-regeneration in the adult central nervous system.

2004 Symposium Topic: Axonal plasticity and regeneration in the adult CNS: role of the Nogo receptor

Jeremy Brockes began his research career studying the consequences of muscle denervation. His studies led him to characterize proteins that affect growth and differentiation of glia and Schwann cells. This initial focus on nerve regeneration gave way to broader questions of whole limb regeneration, which he studies in adult urodele amphibians such as the newt. His talk will focus on the molecular events that underlie the plasticity required for such regeneration to take place.

2004 Symposium Topic: New limbs for old: lessons from the newt