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Release: April 29, 2002

Noted immunology researcher Beutler to give lectures May 1-3

Bruce Beutler, M.D., professor of immunology at the Scripps Research Institute in LaJolla, Calif., will give three lectures at the University of Iowa May 1-3.

Beutler's will lecture on “Innate Immune Sensing: A Few Centuries of Progress” at 4 p.m. Wednesday, May 1, in Auditorium III in the Bowen Science Building. The talk is part of a Pfizer-sponsored Visiting Infectious Diseases Scholar program in the UI Department of Internal Medicine.

At 1 p.m. Thursday, May 2, Beutler will discuss "Infectious Disease and the Interface Between Genes and Environment" in Medical Alumni Auditorium, room E-331 General Hospital in UI Hospitals and Clinics.

At 9 a.m. Friday, May 3, Beutler will present the lecture, "Forward Genetic Analysis of Host Defense" in the Peterson Conference Room, room E-140 in UI Hospitals and Clinics.

All three lectures are open to UI faculty, staff and students and the public.

Beutler has made major contributions to the understanding of the responses of all animals, including humans, to infection. Beginning in 1985 at Rockefeller University, he and his colleagues made a series of discoveries that revealed that production and secretion of the protein cachectin/tumor necrosis factor into body fluids was an important early response to infection and cancer that could, under unfavorable circumstances, be responsible for many of the worst outcomes of these illnesses, including death.

More recently, his laboratory has played a major role in the discovery of a host cell receptor that is essential in permitting very sensitive responses to invading bacteria. This work was done at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and at the Scripps Research Institute, where Beutler hold his current position.

Beutler's research has helped provide a general scheme in which to better understand infection, cancer and other diseases in which inflammation is important. His observations and concepts also have spawned interest in diversity within specific human genes that may help explain genetic dispositions to infection and a variety of other inflammatory diseases.

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