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Upcoming Events: Coming Soon...Distinguished Lecture with Entomologist and Cancer Researcher

By Eddy Ball
October 2006

Bruce Hammock
(Photo courtesy the University of California-Davis)

On October 10, Bruce Hammock, Ph.D., will deliver the second lecture in the 2006-2007 NIEHS Distinguished Lecture Series at 11:00 AM in Rodbell Conference Center. He is the Distinguished Professor of Entomology and Cancer Research Center at the University of California-Davis. Hosted by Dr. William Suk, Hammock's talk is titled "Herbicides to Hypertension: The Soluble Epoxide Hydrolase as a Therapeutic Target for Hypertension, Inflammation and Analgesia."

With interests in the biochemistry of insects and humans, Hammock has researched hydrolytic enzymes, which are key defenses of the body against a variety of toxic and mutagenic compounds. His laboratory cloned the first soluble epoxide hydrolases from several species including man, and his lecture will address his continuing research into the therapeutic potential of inhibiting this enzyme. Hammock and his colleagues are also involved in developing immunoassays for agricultural chemicals and have expanded the technology in terms of hapten design, production of antibodies by classical and recombinant means, integration of the technology with other analytical tools and improved detector systems.

In a 2002 Superfund Basic Research Program Distinguished Lecture, Hammock traced the link between his work with insects and its application to human health. "Since the soluble epoxide hydrolase can be induced by a variety of pharmaceuticals, agricultural chemicals and industrial products, and inhibited by some agricultural chemicals, it represents a target of action of environmental chemicals," he explained. "Interestingly, this research in environmental chemistry has led to a new class of compounds that could be useful in inhibition of high blood pressure, vascular inflammation and atherosclerosis."

Professor Hammock was recognized for his original approaches by election to the National Academy of Sciences in 1999 and has received numerous other awards and recognitions. These include the Frasch and Spencer Awards of the American Chemical Society and the Alexander von Humboldt Award in recognition of the most significant advances in U.S. agriculture during the previous five-year period. He has also received numerous international fellowships for research in France, Australia and England.



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