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June 2011

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Upcoming Rodbell lecturer Brigid Hogan

By Eddy Ball
June 2011

Brigid Hogan, Ph.D.

Hogan holds the distinction of being the first woman to chair a basic science department at the Duke University Medical Center. She is the second woman to be honored with an invitation to present a Rodbell Lecture at NIEHS, joining an impressive group of scientists that includes three Nobel Prize winners. (Photo courtesy of Brigid Hogan)

Noted developmental biologist Brigid Hogan, Ph.D., will deliver the 2011 Martin Rodbell Lecture June 14 at NIEHS. Hosted by NIEHS Reproductive Medicine Group Principal Investigator Carmen Williams, M.D., Ph.D., Hogan will explore the topic "New perspectives on stem cells and lung disorders," in talk that begins at 11:00 a.m. in the Rodbell Auditorium.

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Hogan is a professor and chair of the Department of Cell Biology at Duke University. Educated at Cambridge University in her native England, she was head of the Laboratory of Molecular Embryology at the National Institute for Medical Research in London before joining the faculty at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where she was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. Among her many honors, Hogan has been selected as a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine, as well as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Royal Society of London.

In her work with the human lung, Hogan and her lab(http://www.cellbio.duke.edu/hogan-projects) Exit NIEHS have focused on the biology of embryonic stem cells and primordial germ cells, and the process of organogenesis, the development of a complex and specialized organ from a small population of undifferentiated stem cells. According to Hogan, potential applications of her research could include accelerating lung development in premature babies, better understanding the lung's response to environmental toxins, irradiation, and disorders such as asthma, and discovering how to generate endodermal cells from undifferentiated embryonic stem cells.

The Rodbell Lecture, now in its 13th year, is one of two named talks in the annual NIEHS Distinguished Lecture Series. It honors former NIEHS Scientific Director and Nobel Laureate Martin Rodbell, Ph.D., who presented the first talk in the series shortly before his death in 1998. Rodbell shared the 1994 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Alfred Gilman, Ph.D.(http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1994/gilman-autobio.html) Exit NIEHS, for the discovery of G-proteins, signal transducers that transmit and modulate signals in cells to control fundamental life processes.

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