NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

Shokat, Patapoutian To Deliver Upcoming WALS Talks

Dr. Shokat
Dr. Kevan Shokat

The Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series (WALS) will feature two high-profile lectures in March.

First up is Dr. Kevan Shokat, professor and HHMI investigator at University of California, San Francisco, and University of California, Berkeley, who will deliver the NIH Director’s Lecture on Mar. 8 at 2 p.m. ET, titled “Overcoming the Undruggable Nature of the Most Common Human Oncogene K-Ras.”  

Shokat develops drugs against some of the most common drivers of human cancers. The target protein K-Ras is one such driver, long considered “undruggable” by most cancer researchers after 40 years of failed attempts to block its function. Shokat’s discovery of a K-Ras blocker broke through this barrier and threw open the doors to a new class of cancer treatments.

Dr. Patapoutian
Dr. Ardem Patapoutian

Then, on Monday, Mar. 13, Dr. Ardem Patapoutian of Scripps Research Institute will deliver the annual Marshall W. Nirenberg Lecture, titled “How Do You Feel? The Molecules That Sense Touch.” 

Patapoutian was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2021 with Dr. David Julius for discoveries of receptors for temperature and touch. His current research investigates ion channels that act as polymodal chemosensors and play an essential role in pain and inflammation. Small molecule antagonists of TRPA1, one of the ion channels identified in the Patapoutian lab, are in phase I clinical studies.

Both lectures will be held in Lipsett Amphitheater, Bldg. 10, and viewable online via NIH videocast

Email for reasonable accommodation. More information about WALS is posted at

The NIH Record

The NIH Record, founded in 1949, is the biweekly newsletter for employees of the National Institutes of Health.

Published 25 times each year, it comes out on payday Fridays.

Assistant Editor: Eric Bock (link sends e-mail)

Staff Writer: Amber Snyder (link sends e-mail)