Conference opening and keynote address
Prof. Jean-Pierre Changeux, Pasteur Institute, Paris, France
Jean-Pierre Changeux is Professor Emeritus at the Institut Pasteur, Paris, and a pioneer in the fields of biochemistry, molecular biology, pharmacology and the neurosciences. During his graduate studies, he discovered the phenomenon of allosteric modulation and extended this seminal breakthrough to demonstrate that allostery is fundamental biological paradigm that governs the regulation of multiple classes of macromolecules. In particular, Prof. Changeux isolated, purified and biochemically characterised the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and demonstrated how this protein was an archetypical model for the entire superfamily of ligand-gated ion channels. His studies on the nicotinic receptor were extended to structural, computational, pharmacological and genetic approaches to understanding receptor functionality and the concept of “allosteric diseases”. In addition, Prof. Changeux has made major contributions to theories underlying the molecular basis of cognition, including the formation and stabilization of synapses and approaches to modeling cognitive function and emerging consciousness. He has also contributed to the humanities through the publication of numerous books that bridge the interface of neuroscience, philosophy and ethics, and is a major patron of the arts. He has published over 670 papers with over 76,000 citations, has been elected as a Member of Academies of Science and other Learned Societies spanning multiple countries, and received numerous international awards, honours and prizes, including the French Legion of Honour.
British Pharmacological Society keynote address
Prof Graeme Milligan, University of Glasgow, UK
Prof Graeme Milligan’s main research group centres on the function, structure and regulation of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and their interacting proteins. He has published some 500 peer-reviewed articles on these topics and these have been cited more than 24,000 times. He was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1998 and to the Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2016. Prof Milligan is a director and co-founder of the company Caldan Therapeutics which is searching for novel treatments for type II diabetes.
MPGPCR keynote address
Prof Robert J Lefkowitz, Nobel Laureate, Duke University, USA
Dr. Robert J. Lefkowitz is an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the James B. Duke Professor of Medicine, Professor of Biochemistry, and Professor of Chemistry at Duke University. He has devoted his entire research career to elucidating the nature and functioning of G-protein coupled receptors. For this body of work, he has received numerous honors including election to the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Amongst other awards, he is the recipient of the 2007 National Medal of Science and the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Conference closing and keynote address
Prof Brian Kobilka, Nobel Laureate, Stanford University, USA
Brian Kobilka, MD is Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, and Hélène Irwin Fagan Chair in Cardiology at Stanford University School of Medicine. He received a Bachelor of Science Degrees in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Minnesota, Duluth in 1977. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine in 1981, and completed residency training in Internal Medicine at the Barnes Hospital, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri in 1984. From 1984-1989 he was a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Robert Lefkowitz at Duke University. In 1990 he joined the faculty of Medicine and Molecular and Cellular Physiology at Stanford University. Research in the Kobilka lab focuses on the structure and mechanism of action of G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), which constitute the largest family of receptors for hormones and neurotransmitters in the human genome. GPCRs are the largest group of targets for new therapeutics for a very broad spectrum of diseases. In 2012, Kobilka was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on GPCRs. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.