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Vol. LVII, No. 18
September 9, 2005

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Harvard's Serhan To Give NIDCR Kreshover Lecture

Dr. Charles N. Serhan

Dr. Charles N. Serhan, the Simon Gelman professor of anaesthesia at Harvard Medical School and director of the Center for Experimental Therapeutics and Reperfusion Injury at Brigham and Women's Hospital, will deliver the 2005 NIDCR Seymour J. Kreshover Lecture on Friday, Sept. 23. The talk will take place at 3:30 p.m. in Lipsett Amphitheater, Bldg. 10. Serhan will speak on "The Role of Novel Anti-Inflammatory and Pro-Resolving Lipid Mediators in Oral Inflammation and Resolution."

Serhan is known for his work on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of inflammation and the biochemistry of blood cells. He discovered that the resolution of acute inflammation is an active process, not a passive process as had been traditionally thought. Serhan and his colleagues have also uncovered a family of lipid mediators that are produced during the resolution phase.

He and his team are now studying these novel lipid mediators, which they named resolvins, in several diseases, with a strong focus on periodontal (gum) disease. Periodontal disease begins when bacteria and other particles form a sticky plaque on teeth. The bacteria produce toxins that stimulate an inflammatory response. If periodontal disease is untreated, the bones, gums and connective tissue that support teeth are destroyed. Serhan's latest studies show that a synthetic version of a resolvin called resolvin E-1 counteracts the inflammation process in mouse colitis and a rabbit model of gum disease.

A native of New York City, Serhan received a bachelor's degree in biochemistry at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. He earned his doctorate in experimental pathology at the Sackler Institute of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at New York University School of Medicine. He was a visiting scientist in physiologic chemistry at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and then held a research fellowship in medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Serhan has a long association with NIH as a member of various study sections and is the recipient of several grants, including an NIGMS MERIT Award. He also serves as a teacher and mentor and has mentored NIH training grant awardees, postdoctoral fellows and Fulbright scholars. Additionally, he developed and served as the first director of the biochemistry course for the Harvard Medical School-Massachusetts Institute of Technology Division of Health Sciences and Technology.

He is the recipient of many honors and academic awards including the National Arthritis Foundation's Science Award and has received funding from the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences. Serhan has more than 50 U.S. or international patents issued or pending.

The Kreshover Lecture series was established in 1983 by NIDCR to recognize outstanding research accomplishments and to honor scientists who have made important contributions in areas of research related to the interests of the institute. Dr. Seymour Kreshover served as director of the then National Institute of Dental Research from 1966 until his retirement from the PHS Commissioned Corps in 1975.

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