Keck School of Medicine Events

"A Unifying Role for Prions in Neurodegeneration" Seminar

March 2013
Thursday, March 14, 2013
3:30 PM - 4:30 PM
USC Health Sciences Campus Keith Administration Building, Mayer Auditorium 1975 Zonal Avenue
RSVP (code: Prusiner)   Flyer

Elizabeth Garrett Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs & Carmen A. Puliafito, M.D., M.B.A. Dean, Keck School of Medicine of USC invite you to attend a special seminar.

Nobel Laureate Stanley B. Prusiner, M.D., Director, Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Professor, Department of Neurology University of California, San Francisco, will be presenting.
Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis—among many other neurodegenerative diseases—share two remarkable characteristics. First, more than 80% of cases are sporadic. Second, the inherited forms of these disorders have late onset, despite the expression of the disease-specific mutant proteins at embryogenesis. This suggests that some event occurs with aging that renders the disease-specific protein pathogenic; I argue that this event involves a stochastic refolding of the etiologic protein into a misfolded, self-propagating state known as a prion. In the past decade, many studies argue that the proteins causing neurodegeneration are all prions. The convergence of data implicating prions in the pathogenesis of common neurodegenerative maladies has been remarkable. Many mysteries can now be explained within the paradigm of the prion concept. From our growing knowledge of prions, strategies will emerge for developing informative molecular diagnostics and effective therapeutics for these elusive disorders. Early diagnosis will require reporters, such as PET ligands, to identify prions long before symptoms appear. Meaningful treatments are likely to require drugs that diminish the precursor protein, interfere with the conversion of precursors into prions, and/or clear existing prions.

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