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Environmental Factor, January 2013

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Rose to give distinguished lecture

By Sheetal Thakur

Noel Rose, M.D., Ph.D.

Rose made his first seminal discovery about Hashimoto’s thyroiditis in 1956 — the beginning of a long series of important contributions toward the understanding of autoimmune diseases and the gene-environment interactions responsible for them. (Photo courtesy of Johns Hopkins University)

The first 2013 NIEHS distinguished lecture, “Myocarditis: an environmentally initiated autoimmune disease,” will be presented by Noel Rose, M.D., Ph.D., Jan. 8 at 11 a.m. in Rodbell Auditorium. Rose’s visit to NIEHS will be hosted by Dori Germolec, Ph.D., who is the Systems Toxicology Group leader in the NTP Toxicology Branch.

Rose is a professor of pathology, molecular microbiology, and immunology, as well as the director of the Autoimmune Disease Research Center at Johns Hopkins University (JHU). He is a pioneer and internationally renowned expert in the field of autoimmune diseases, and has served as the chair of the Autoimmune Diseases Coordinating Committee of the National Institutes of Health. In his early career during the 1950’s, Rose demonstrated, for the first time, that immunizing animals experimentally with their own thyroglobulin induces autoimmune thyroiditis. This finding revolutionized the outlook of the entire research community on autoimmune diseases.

The Rose laboratory at JHU continues to investigate the triggers, mechanisms, and pathology of autoimmune diseases, in both clinical and laboratory animal settings. His group’s research has unraveled the complex interplay between genetic and environmental factors that influence the development of autoimmune diseases. Some of the recent findings from Rose’s group highlight the significance of autoantibodies in the human population and their prediagnostic value in the early detection of autoimmune thyroid disease.

In his career of 50-plus years, Rose has published more than 200 papers, edited 17 books, and given numerous lectures at conferences worldwide. His many awards include the 2005 American Society for Microbiology Founders Distinguished Service Award, 2006 Keystone Lifetime Achievement Award, and the 2009 Nicolaus Copernicus Medal from the Polish Academy of Sciences. Rose has dedicated his career to understanding the mechanisms and pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases and his research continues to enrich the field and suggest therapeutic strategies for these debilitating diseases.

(Sheetal Thakur, Ph.D., is an Intramural Research Training Award fellow in the NTP Toxicology Branch.)

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