Contact: Will Sansom
|Stanley B. Prusiner, M.D., received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1997 for his discovery of infectious proteins called prions, linked to Alzheimer’s and other diseases.|
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SAN ANTONIO (Oct. 30, 2012) — Nobel Laureate Stanley B. Prusiner, M.D., will present the 2012 Presidential Distinguished Lecture at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Dr. Prusiner is director of the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases at the University of California, San Francisco.
The lecture will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 2, in the Holly Auditorium on the university's Long Campus, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive. It is free and open to the public.Dr. Prusiner is internationally recognized for discovering a class of pathogens
(disease-causing agents) that he named prions. He advanced the idea that some event occurs with aging that refolds disease-specific proteins into a misfolded infectious state known as a prion. Many neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, may be explained by the prion concept, he said. For this work, he received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1997.
“It was a discovery that people didn’t really want to accept for a long time because it went against so many preconceived notions,” he said in a video on the Nobel Prize website
. “The idea that a protein is infectious, that a disease could be both genetic and infectious, and then even spontaneous, these were concepts that people had a hard time accepting.” ###The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
, one of the country’s leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 3 percent of all institutions worldwide receiving federal funding. Research and other sponsored program activity totaled $231 million in fiscal year 2011. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced more than 28,000 graduates. The $739.6 million operating budget supports eight campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,”