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April 3, 2013 - Sir Philip Cohen to Give Charles M. Baugh Lecture

The University of South Alabama College of Medicine’s Charles M. Baugh 2013 Lecture will feature Sir Philip Cohen, a pioneer in the scientific field of protein phosphorylation and cellular signalling.

His lecture, titled “Novel Signalling Networks that Prevent the Development of Autoimmune and Inflammatory Diseases,” will take place April 9, 2013, at 4 p.m. in the Medical Sciences Building auditorium on USA’s main campus.

A Fellow of the Royal Society, Sir Philip is a Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences and professor of enzymology, Medical Research Council Protein Phosphorylation Unit, University of Dundee, Scotland.

Cohen has contributed widely to the field of protein phosphorylation, a biological control mechanism that regulates most aspects of cell life. He discovered several enzymes that have subsequently been targeted to develop drugs for the treatment of cancer and rheumatoid arthritis and to prevent tissue rejection after organ transplantation. Currently, his laboratory is investigating how the innate immune system defends against infection by pathogens and how a deregulated immune system can cause chronic inflammatory diseases.

He earned BSc and PhD degrees from the University College, London and held a Science Research Council/NATO postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington in Seattle working in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate Ed Fischer before joining the University of Dundee in 1971. He was a Royal Society research professor from 1984-2010, director of the Medical Research Council Protein Phosphorylation Unit from 1990-2012, and director of the Scottish Institute for Cell Signaling from 2008-2012. In addition, he co-directs the Division of Signal Transduction Therapy, Europe’s largest collaboration between academia and the pharmaceutical industry. This group received a Queen’s Anniversary Award for Higher Education in 2006.

Cohen’s awards include the Swiss Louis Jeantet Prize for Medicine, the Prix Van Gysel of the Belgian Royal Academy of Medicine, the Pfizer Award for Innovative Science in Europe, the Bristol Myers Squibb Distinguished Achievement Award in Metabolic Research and the Rolf Luft Prize of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. Knighted in 1998, he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1984, receiving their Royal Medals in 2005 and 2008 respectively. In addition, he was made a Foreign Associate of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

During his career, Cohen has published more than 500 research papers and given 275 invited lectures at scientific meetings in 34 countries. He has also played a significant role in developing the College of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee, which currently comprises 840 staff from 59 countries.

This year, Cohen received the Medical Research Council’s Millennium Medal, presented every two years to an outstanding scientist who has made a major contribution toward the MRC’s mission to improve human health through world-class medical research.

The lecture is held in memory of Dr. Charles M. Baugh, who served twice as dean of the USA College of Medicine and vice president for medical affairs. He began his career at USA in 1973 as a charter member of the medical school faculty and as professor and chair of biochemistry. In 1976, Dr. Baugh was named associate dean for basic medical sciences. In addition, Dr. Baugh was involved in the creation of the USA Health Services Foundation, the South Alabama Medical Sciences Foundation, PrimeHealth, and in the development of USA's biomedical library which bears his name.

Past Baugh Lecture Speakers Have Been:

Frank Maley, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist, Wadsworth Center for Laboratories and Research, Albany, N.Y.

Michael A. Marletta, Ph.D., Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and John G. Searle Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Biological Chemistry, University of Michigan

Stanley Cohen, Ph.D., Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, 1986, and Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry, Vanderbilt University

Gail H.Cassell, Ph.D., Vice President, Scientific Affairs and Distinguished Lilly Research Scholar for Infectious Diseases, Eli Lilly and Company and Laboratories

Max D. Cooper, M.D., Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, Microbiology and Pathology, University of Alabama College of Medicine at Birmingham

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