NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

Structural Biologist Wilson To Give Kinyoun Lecture

Dr. Ian A. Wilson
Dr. Ian A. Wilson

Dr. Ian A. Wilson, Hansen professor of structural biology and chair, department of integrative structural and computational biology at the Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, Calif., will deliver the 2019 Joseph J. Kinyoun Memorial Lecture on Tuesday, Nov. 19 at 3 p.m. in Lipsett Amphitheater, Bldg. 10. His presentation is titled, “Structure-assisted Design of Universal Vaccines and Therapeutics Against Influenza Virus.”

Wilson will explain how insights gained through structural biology approaches are aiding in devising new ways to treat or prevent influenza.

The health and economic burdens of seasonal flu vary widely but are significant. According to estimates by the CDC, influenza caused between 46 million and 53 million cases of illness and up to 99,000 deaths in the United States last season.

Wilson will discuss his laboratory’s efforts to determine the structures of broadly neutralizing antibodies against two influenza proteins. The work has revealed major sites of vulnerability on the virus. He also will describe how this information could aid the quest to develop new flu vaccines and therapies that provide broad and durable protection against multiple flu strains and subtypes, unlike seasonal vaccines and current therapeutics.

Since joining Scripps in 1982, Wilson and his lab have solved more than 670 biological structures, including more than 300 antibodies. From 2000 to 2016, he directed the Joint Center for Structural Genomics, a multi-institution consortium, and oversaw the development of novel and improved high-throughput methods of protein expression, crystallization, structural determination and analysis by X-ray and nuclear magnetic resonance.

The annual Kinyoun Lecture commemorates Dr. Joseph J. Kinyoun who, in 1887, founded the Laboratory of Hygiene, the institution that later would become NIH. Since 1979, NIAID has invited distinguished guests to present their work in the fields of infectious diseases and immunology for this lectureship.

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