|Front Page Previous Story Next Story|| Klein Wins Mathilde Solowey Award, To Lecture May 20 in Lipsett
Lithium is the primary therapeutic treatment for the psychiatric condition known as bipolar disorder, but its mechanisms of action are still unknown. Lithium affects cellular metabolism and cell division, it inhibits a number of enzymes, alters nerve cell function and production of white blood cells, and in high doses it can be toxic. Dr. Peter Klein has spent much of his budding career studying how lithium, by its action on the enzyme glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3), activates the Wnt signaling pathway with remarkable effects in a number of research models ranging from slime mold chemotaxis to tadpole development to Alzheimer's disease. On Thursday, May 20, the scientific community will honor his work by inviting the Howard Hughes Medical Institute scientist to deliver the 31st Mathilde Solowey Award Lecture at noon in Lipsett Amphitheater, Bldg. 10. His talk is titled, "A Molecular Mechanism for Lithium Action in Development and Behavior."
The Solowey Lecture Award, established in 1973 by the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences, annually honors a scientist for outstanding research in neurobiology or diseases of the central nervous system. The award is made possible through the generosity of Dr. Mathilde Solowey.
Klein's early work with slime mold and frog embryos led to the idea that lithium might act as a GSK-3 inhibitor, thereby affecting developmental processes. By a similar action, lithium can reduce generation of beta-amyloid in mouse models of Alzheimer's disease. Most recently, Klein created a knockout mouse lacking GSK-3 and found its behaviors closely resemble those of lithium-treated mice.
Klein received his M.D./Ph.D. in 1988 from Johns Hopkins University, where he studied signal transduction in Dictyostelium with Dr. Peter Devreotes. He then did postdoctoral work on Xenopus development at Harvard University with Dr. Douglas Melton. He has been an assistant investigator in HHMI since 1995 and is now an associate professor in the department of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
For more information, contact FAES at (301) 496-7975 or Dr. Miles Herkenham at (301) 496-8287.
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