Chen, Hooper elected to Nationwide Academy of Drugs: Newsroom

Chen, Hooper elected to Nationwide Academy of Drugs: Newsroom




DALLAS – Oct. 17, 2022 – The Nationwide Academy of Drugs at the moment introduced the election of two UT Southwestern Medical Middle college members – Lora Hooper, Ph.D., Chair of Immunology, and Zhijian “James” Chen, Ph.D., Professor of Molecular Biology and Director of the Middle for Irritation Analysis – one of many highest honors attainable within the fields of well being and medication.

With their election, UT Southwestern now has 18 members of the Nationwide Academy of Drugs (NAM), together with 24 members of the Nationwide Academy of Sciences, putting the establishment among the many nation’s elite tutorial medical facilities. Ten UTSW college members – together with Drs. Hooper and Chen – are members of each organizations. Drs. Chen and Hooper are amongst UT Southwestern’s 14 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators.

“The election of Drs. Hooper and Chen to the Nationwide Academy of Drugs acknowledges their contributions to our understanding of essential processes associated to the physique’s immune response to invasive micro organism or viruses,” stated Daniel Okay. Podolsky, M.D., President of UT Southwestern and member of the Nationwide Academy of Drugs. “Dr. Hooper’s work has led to discoveries of proteins that may assist battle off intestinal infections whereas Dr. Chen’s discoveries recognized a signaling pathway essential to the event of remedies for autoimmune illnesses or most cancers.”

New members are elected by present members by way of a course of that acknowledges people who’ve made main contributions to the development of the medical sciences, well being care, and public well being. Drs. Chen and Hooper have been elected on the Academy’s annual assembly this week and can be inducted throughout ceremonies subsequent 12 months.

“The election of Drs. Hooper and Chen into the NAM continues the development of accelerating recognition of UT Southwestern as one of many elite tutorial medical facilities on this planet by way of its excellent college and the affect they make in advancing scientific boundaries,” stated W. P. Andrew Lee, M.D., Government Vice President for Educational Affairs, Provost, and Dean, UT Southwestern Medical College.

Dr. Lora Hooper

Dr. Lora Hooper holds the Jonathan W. Uhr, M.D. Distinguished Chair in Immunology and is the Nancy Cain and Jeffrey A. Marcus Scholar in Medical Analysis, in Honor of Dr. Invoice S. Vowell.

Dr. Hooper, who holds the Jonathan W. Uhr, M.D. Distinguished Chair in Immunology and is the Nancy Cain and Jeffrey A. Marcus Scholar in Medical Analysis, in Honor of Dr. Invoice S. Vowell, is working to know how resident intestinal micro organism affect the biology of mammalian hosts. Dr. Hooper’s discoveries have helped clarify how a bunch peacefully coexists with the trillions of useful micro organism current within the intestinal tract and the way these micro organism can form immunological and metabolic capabilities of their host.

The Hooper lab’s research in germ-free mice have led to the invention of quite a few secreted antimicrobial proteins that kill micro organism, which connect to the intestinal floor. These proteins restrict the bacterial invasion of intestinal tissues and forestall an infection. In ongoing work, her lab is utilizing biochemical and structural approaches to know the molecular mechanisms by which antimicrobial proteins kill micro organism. Her lab makes use of genetically engineered mouse fashions to find out how intestinal epithelial cells sense bacterial invasion and direct immune responses that restrict bacterial entry to deeper host tissues. The Hooper lab has additionally used germ-free mice to make discoveries about how intestine micro organism promote fats absorption from the eating regimen, which might assist clarify how intestinal micro organism can affect the susceptibility to issues resembling diabetes, coronary heart illness, and weight problems.

“I’m extremely honored to be elected to the Nationwide Academy of Drugs. That is actually a recognition of the superb and insightful work of my many lab members over time, and of the very good scientific atmosphere at UT Southwestern,” stated Dr. Hooper, Chair and Professor of Immunology in addition to a Professor of Microbiology and member of the Middle for the Genetics of Host Protection and the Harold C. Simmons Complete Most cancers Middle at UTSW.

Dr. Zhijian “James” Chen

Dr. Zhijian Chen holds the George L. MacGregor Distinguished Chair in Biomedical Science.

Dr. Chen, who holds the George L. MacGregor Distinguished Chair in Biomedical Science, is broadly keen on mechanisms of sign transduction, particularly how a cell communicates with its environment and inside itself and the way a cell detects dangerous or international insults and mounts an applicable response to revive homeostasis. Particularly, Dr. Chen’s lab focuses on ubiquitin signaling within the NF-κB pathway and innate immune sensing and signaling of cytosolic DNA and RNA.

Dr. Chen’s analysis into complicated mobile biochemistry has led to the invention of pathways and proteins that set off immune and stress responses. Dr. Chen, who was awarded the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences in 2019, has recognized proteins, such because the mitochondrial protein MAVS, which can be essential to the physique’s protection in opposition to RNA viruses resembling influenza, Ebola, and SARS-CoV-2. Dr. Chen and his staff are dissecting a signaling pathway involving a novel DNA sensor – cyclic GMP-AMP (cGAMP) synthase, or cGAS – which prompts an interferon response that performs a essential function in immune protection in opposition to pathogens and malignant cells, in addition to in autoimmune illnesses resembling lupus. Remedy of those autoimmune illnesses might contain chemical inhibition of cGAS, whereas cGAMP and its derivatives could also be used as adjuvants for vaccines and most cancers immunotherapies.

“I’m very honored and humbled to be elected to the Nationwide Academy of Drugs. That is an endorsement that the discoveries made by way of the onerous work of members of my laboratory have the potential to profit sufferers and enhance well being. I’m very grateful to the UT Southwestern group for the assist that has enabled these discoveries,” stated Dr. Chen, Professor of Molecular Biology, Director of the Middle for Irritation Analysis, and member of the Middle for the Genetics of Host Protection and the Harold C. Simmons Complete Most cancers Middle at UTSW.

UT Southwestern’s distinguished college members

Since 1970, UT Southwestern has had 29 Nationwide Academy of Drugs members, starting with the 1970 number of Bryan Williams, M.D., and contains a number of division chairs, 4 of UT Southwestern’s Nobel Laureates, and all three of UT Southwestern’s presidents. Along with Drs. Chen and Hooper, present Nationwide Academy of Drugs members at UT Southwestern and the 12 months of their induction are: Samuel Achilefu, Ph.D. (2021); Ralph DeBerardinis, M.D., Ph.D. (2020); Sean Morrison, Ph.D. (2018); Joseph Takahashi, Ph.D. (2014); Daniel Okay. Podolsky, M.D. (2009); Bruce Beutler, M.D. (2008); Ellen Vitetta, Ph.D. (2006); Steven McKnight, Ph.D. (2005); Helen Hobbs, M.D. (2004); Eric Olson, Ph.D. (2001); Norman Gant, M.D. (2001); Kern Wildenthal, M.D., Ph.D. (1999); Carol Tamminga, M.D. (1998); Scott Grundy, M.D., Ph.D. (1995); Michael Brown, M.D. (1987); and Joseph Goldstein, M.D. (1987).

About UT Southwestern Medical Middle  

UT Southwestern, one of many nation’s premier tutorial medical facilities, integrates pioneering biomedical analysis with distinctive medical care and training. The establishment’s college has obtained six Nobel Prizes, and contains 24 members of the Nationwide Academy of Sciences, 18 members of the Nationwide Academy of Drugs, and 14 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators. The total-time college of greater than 2,900 is liable for groundbreaking medical advances and is dedicated to translating science-driven analysis rapidly to new medical remedies. UT Southwestern physicians present care in additional than 80 specialties to greater than 100,000 hospitalized sufferers, greater than 360,000 emergency room instances, and oversee almost 4 million outpatient visits a 12 months.