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Media Contact: Holly Korschun 19 October 2007    
  (404) 727-3990   Print  | Email ]

Vitamin D Researcher Hector DeLuca Presents McCormick Lecture at Emory
Hector F. DeLuca, PhD, widely recognized as the world's leading expert on vitamin D structure and function, will deliver the 2007 annual Donald B. McCormick Lecture in the Department of Biochemistry at Emory University School of Medicine. The lecture will take place Thursday, Nov. 8, at 4 p.m. in the School of Medicine Education Building, Room 130, 1648 Pierce Dr., NE (off Clifton Rd.), followed by a reception.

The McCormick Annual Lecture Series was established this year in honor of Donald B. McCormick, PhD, chair of the Department of Biochemistry at Emory University School of Medicine from 1979 until 1994.

Dr. DeLuca will speak on "The Functions and Mechanisms of Vitamin D. " He will describe the molecular and physiologic basis for the vitamin D endocrine system and its application in understanding, preventing and treating human disease, including the design and use of analogs of the vitamin D hormone for the development of therapeutics.

As the Steenbock Research Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dr. DeLuca, along with his colleagues, has made groundbreaking contributions to the field of vitamin D research, including the discovery of the vitamin D endocrine system and the isolation, identification and synthesis of virtually all the metabolites of vitamin D. These discoveries have led to the treatment of a number of diseases, including renal osteodystrophy, osteoporosis and vitamin D-resistant rickets.

Dr. DeLuca and his group have been credited with at least eight pharmaceutical products still being marketed worldwide, and he holds over 150 active U.S. patents. His most recent contributions have been specific analogs that simulate the formation of new bone, now in phase II clinical trials.

A graduate of the University of Colorado, Dr. DeLuca received his masters and PhD degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and conducted graduate research there in the laboratory of Professor Harry Steenbock, the world-renowned scientist who discovered the process for producing vitamin D. After directing Professor Steenbock's laboratory for two years, Dr. DeLuca became an instructor at the University of Cambridge, England. He returned to the University of Wisconsin, where he was named Chairman of Biochemstry in 1970, a post he held until 2005.

Dr. Luca is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Fellow of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Institute of Nutrition. His numerous awards include the Roussel Prize of France, the Rank Prize (London) and the Gairdner Foundation Award (Canada). He holds honorary doctorate degrees from the University of Colorado at Boulder, the Medical College of Wisconsin, and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

For more information, please contact Erica Caplan at 404-727-5960.


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