Simpson Lecture in Molecular Medicine set for May 5

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Clifton E. Barry, III, senior investigator and section chief of the Tuberculosis Research Section at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), will present the 2013/14 Robert T. Simpson Memorial Lecture in Molecular Medicine at 4 p.m. on Monday, May 5, in 101 Althouse Laboratory on the Penn State University Park campus. This free public lecture, titled “In vivo Imaging of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis,” is sponsored by the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Barry, the world’s most highly-cited scientist in tuberculosis research, leads an interdisciplinary group of biologists, chemists, and clinical researchers at NIAID. The group focuses on understanding the scientific issues that facilitate the discovery of drugs for tuberculosis therapy, including the mechanism of anti-tuberculosis agents, drug resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and the interaction of tuberculosis with its human host. The group, which runs clinical trials of newly discovered agents in drug-resistant tuberculosis patients, also is working to develop advanced techniques to quickly and accurately diagnose and monitor a tuberculosis infection.

Barry earned his doctoral degree in organic and bioorganic chemistry in 1989 at Cornell University, and was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Chemistry at Johns Hopkins University from 1989 to 1991. In 1991, he joined the intramural research program of the National Institutes of Health as an investigator at NIAID’s Rocky Mountain Laboratories, where he studied DNA-protein interactions in Chlamydia infections. In 1993 he established the Mycobacterial Research Unit at Rocky Mountain Laboratories that initially studied mycolic acid biosynthesis in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In 1998, he became senior investigator and section chief of the Tuberculosis Research Section at NIAID in Maryland.

The Robert T. Simpson Lectureship honors Robert T. Simpson and is made possible through donations from his family, friends, colleagues and associates. Simpson was an international leader for more than 35 years in research on chromatin -- a fundamental component of chromosomes -- and its role in gene regulation. He worked at the National Institutes of Health from 1970 until 1995, when he became the Verne M. Willaman Professor of Molecular Biology at Penn State. His addition to Penn State in 1995 is considered to have placed the University and the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the forefront of chromatin research and to have greatly enhanced Penn State's research and educational missions. For more information about the lecture, contact Tamara Housel at (814) 865-3072.

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Last Updated April 28, 2014