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Protein pioneer to speak at Emory's McCormick Lecture

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Holly Korschun

Sir Phillip Cohen will deliver the Sixth Annual Donald B. McCormick Lecture on April 8, 2013.

Sir Philip Cohen, who pioneered the scientific field of "protein phosphorylation," will deliver the Sixth Annual Donald B. McCormick Lecture at Emory University on Monday, April 8, 2013. His lecture is entitled, "Novel signalling networks that prevent the development of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases."

The lecture takes place at 4 p.m. in the Woodruff Health Sciences Center Auditorium, 1440 Clifton Rd., Atlanta, GA 30322.

A Fellow of the Royal Society, Sir Philip is a foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences and professor of enzymology, Medical Research Council Protein Phosphorylation Unit, University of Dundee, Scotland.

He received BSc and PhD degrees from University College, London and held an SRC/NATO postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington, Seattle, before joining the University of Dundee, Scotland in 1971, where he has worked ever since. He was a Royal Society research professor from 1984-2010, director of the Medical Research Council Protein Phosphorylation Unit from 1990-2012, and director of the Scottish Institute for Cell Signalling from 2008-2012.

He co-directs the Division of Signal Transduction Therapy, Europe’s largest collaboration between academia and the pharmaceutical industry, which received a Queen’s Anniversary Award for Higher Education in 2006.

Cohen pioneered the field of "protein phosphorylation," a biological control mechanism that regulates most aspects of cell life. He discovered several enzymes that have subsequently been targeted to develop drugs for the treatment of cancer and rheumatoid arthritis and to prevent tissue rejection after organ transplantation. He determined how insulin converts blood glucose to its storage form glycogen. His current research is focused on understanding how the innate immune system works.

His awards include the Swiss Louis Jeantet Prize for Medicine, the Prix Van Gysel of the Belgian Royal Academy of Medicine, the Pfizer Award for Innovative Science in Europe, the Bristol Myers Squibb Distinguished Achievement Award in Metabolic Research and the Rolf Luft Prize of the Karolinska Institute, Sweden. Knighted in 1998, he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1984, receiving his  Royal Medals in 2005 and 2008, respectively, and he was made a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences in 2008.

The lecture is free and open to Emory faculty, staff and students, and to the public. For more information, contact Erica Caplan at or 404-727-5960.

Parking is available at 1525 Clifton Rd. or Michael Street visitor parking deck behind 1510 Clifton Rd. ($2/hr.)

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