Wednesday, April 2, 2003

Symposium To Honor Washington College Chemist

Chestertown, MD, April 1, 2003 — The Washington College Chapter of Sigma Xi, the scientific research society, and the Women in Science Program present "COPPER IN THE BODY: YOU GOTTA HAVE IT - BUT NOT TOO MUCH", a symposium in celebration of the recent publication of Washington College Professor Rosette Roat-Malone's new text, Bioinorganic Chemistry: A Short Course. The symposium will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 8, in the College's Hynson Lounge. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.
Panelists for the event include Professor Valeria Culotta, Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University; Professor Amy Rosenzweig, Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Cell Biology at Northwestern University; and Professor Rosette Roat-Malone. Alice Hogan, Director of the ADVANCE Program of the National Science Foundation will serve as moderator. ADVANCE is a federal program designed is to increase the participation of women in the scientific and engineering workforce through the increased representation and advancement of women in academic science and engineering careers.
Professor Rosenzweig's research is concerned with determining the three dimensional structures of proteins involved in delivering copper to distinct cellular locations and particular proteins. These proteins, called copper chaperones, are linked to human diseases, including Menkes syndrome, Wilson disease, and familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FALS), and are potential targets for new therapeutics. Professor Culotta's work focuses on the role of metal ions in biology and in disease. Researchers in her group have cloned and characterized a number of yeast genes involved in metal trafficking and virtually all of these have human homologues. They have helped to establish a novel paradigm of copper trafficking in eukaryotic cells that involves the combined action of metal transporters and soluble copper carrier proteins. Their discovery of the CCS copper chaperone for the superoxide dismutase enzyme (SOD1) has facilitated studies addressing the mechanism by which mutations in human SOD1 lead to the fatal motor neuron disease, ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrigs disease.
Founded in 1886, Sigma Xi is a non-profit membership society of nearly 75,000 scientists and engineers who were elected to the Society because of their research achievements or potential. Sigma Xi has more than 500 chapters at universities and colleges, government laboratories and industry research centers.

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