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Environmental Factor, February 2014

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Myles Brown to give distinguished lecture

By Shannon Whirledge

Myles Brown, M.D.

Brown is a pioneer in the field of cancer research. His seminal discoveries include the first identification of the p160 class of steroid receptor coactivators and the description of the estrogen receptor cistrome, the targets of estrogen action across the genome. His work has important implications for understanding the actions of selective receptor modulators and endocrine disruptors. (Photo courtesy of Myles Brown)

The second NIEHS distinguished lecture of 2014 will be presented Feb. 11 by prominent physician scientist Myles Brown, M.D. at 11:00 a.m. in Rodbell Auditorium. NIEHS Reproductive and Developmental Toxicology Laboratory head Kenneth Korach, Ph.D., will host Brown’s talk, “Genetics and Epigenetics of Endocrine Resistance.”

Brown is a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of the Center for Functional Cancer Epigenetics at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The Brown laboratory at Harvard Medical School focuses on elucidating the epigenetic factors underlying steroid hormone action, with implications for both normal physiology and the treatment of hormone-dependent cancer.

Brown is widely recognized for several important discoveries in the steroid receptor field. His group’s research has shed light on the complex nature of steroid receptor coregulators, including the dynamic nature of receptor and coregulator interactions with the genome. Some recent findings from Brown’s group highlight the ability of epigenetic modifications to dictate transcription factor binding to discrete regulatory regions in the mammalian genome.

Among his many accomplishments, Brown has published more than 150 peer-reviewed articles, reviews, and book chapters that have been highly quoted, and he has been invited to present lectures at conferences worldwide. His many honors include being elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 1997 and the Association of American Physicians in 2003, receiving the Tisch Family Outstanding Achievement Award in 2006, and being presented the Edwin B. Astwood Award by The Endocrine Society in 2010.

Researchers at NIEHS and in the local community are enthusiastic to have Brown present his studies on a current and relevant topic. As Korach said, “Dr. Brown’s research in the field of hormone action and nuclear receptor mechanisms in breast cancer is highly relevant to studies at the NIEHS involving environmental endocrine-disrupting chemicals.”

(Shannon Whirledge, Ph.D., is an Intramural Research Training Award fellow in the NIEHS Molecular Endocrinology Group.)

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