Keck School of Medicine Events

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.

"A Unifying Role for Prions in Neurodegeneratrion"
March 2013
Thursday, March 14, 2013
3:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Keith Administration Building, Mayer Auditorium.
RSVP (code: Prusiner)   Flyer and more information .

Nobel Laureate Stanly B. Prusiner, MD, Director, Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Professor, Department of Neurology, from the University of California San Francisco will be presenting. A Reception will be following the Seminar.
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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