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Media Contact: Holly Korschun 06 September 2006    
  (404) 727-3990   Print  | Email ]

Renowned Geneticist Dr. Richard Lifton Delivers Mitch Lecture at Emory Sept. 19
Richard P. Lifton, MD, PhD, whose discoveries in the genetics of hypertension and other cardiovascular and renal diseases have helped pave the way for safer, more effective medications for hypertension, will deliver this year's William E. Mitch Lecture in Nephrology at Emory University School of Medicine. The lecture will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 19 at 5:00 p.m. in the Whitehead Biomedical Research Building Auditorium, located off Clifton Rd. on the Emory campus.

Dr. Lifton is professor of genetics and medicine and chairman of the Department of Genetics at Yale University, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He is one of the world's leaders in the genetic causes of hypertension, and he identified the first known gene affecting the regulation of human blood pressure. His research focuses on identifying genetic causes of end-stage renal disease and common forms of hypertension, including hypertension-complicating pregnancy. Dr. Lifton and his research team have identified more than 20 human disease genes, including more than a dozen genes that regulate blood pressure by influencing how the kidney handles salt. Their research has provided new diagnostic tests for patients with high blood pressure and has identified new molecular targets for the development of new drugs to treat hypertension.

Dr. Lifton is a 1975 graduate of Dartmouth College and holds MD and PhD degrees from Stanford University. While at Stanford, he helped discover the TATA box, a short DNA sequence that regulates the initiation of gene transcription in all higher organisms. He served as a resident and chief resident in internal medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital. He came to Yale as assistant professor of medicine in 1993 and became a professor in 1997. He is a recipient of the Homer Smith Award from the American Society of Nephrology, the Abbott Award from the American Society of Hypertension, and the Smith-Kline Beecham Outstanding Young Investigator Award

The William E. Mitch Lecture in Nephrology is given annually to honor Dr. Mitch, who served as director of the Renal Division at Emory University School of Medicine from 1987 to 2002. Dr. Mitch is recognized for his many years of dedication and service in nephrology as a physician, teacher, and scientist in the area of chronic renal failure and nutrition in renal disease. He served as President of the American Society of Nephrology in 2004. He currently is the Gordon A. Cain professor of medicine and director of the Renal Division at Baylor College of Medicine.

The Mitch Lectureship is endowed by Amgen, a leading human therapeutics company in the biotechnology industry. The lectures, which focus on translational research, recognize individuals who are skilled as both scientists and clinical scholars and can present cutting-edge knowledge, new clinical techniques, and the latest in medical education to the faculty and students of Emory University School of Medicine.

The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, call 404-727-2525.

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