Nobel Prizewinner gives NUI Galway lecture

Apr 16 2007 Posted: 00:00 IST

Pictured during Dr Prusiner's visit to NUI Galway are from left: Professor Nicholas Canny, Vice President for Research, NUI Galway; Dr Stanley Prusiner and Professor Noel Lowndes, Head of the Department of Biochemistry, NUI Galway.

Nobel Prizewinner Dr Stanley Prusiner was a recent guest of the Department of Biochemistry, NUI Galway where he delivered a lecture on 'Prions, Mad Cows and Dementing Diseases'.

Dr Prusiner was awarded the 1997 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his ground breaking discovery of Prion proteins (acronym for proteinaceous infectious particles), and identification of prions as the key agents in dementia-causing neurodegenerative diseases such as Mad Cow disease and Scrapie in animals and the counterpart human diseases Cruetzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) and Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker syndrome (GSS). Dr Prusiner's research also demonstrated that these diseases can be passed from one species to another. His findings have also been recognised as having implications in the identification of the cause of other neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Prusiner is currently the Director of the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases and Professor of Neurobiology and Biochemistry at the University of California at San Francisco.

Dr. Prusiner was the guest of the Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology Society, the latter of which received Science Foundation Ireland funding for the event.


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