Environmental Factor, December 2008, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Upcoming Distinguished Lecture by Gary L. Johnson
By Eddy Ball
The 2008 - 2009 NIEHS Distinguished Lecture Series will feature a talk December 9 by Professor and Chair of the University of North Carolina Department of Pharmacology Gary L. Johnson, Ph.D. Johnson will discuss the topic of "Defining MAP3 Kinase Regulated Signaling Networks: From Metastasis to Tissue Stem Cells" at 11:00 in Rodbell Auditorium.
Johnson's laboratory defines the "signal relay" systems initiated by various cellular stimuli including cytokines, growth factors, antigens and drugs used to treat human disease. The unifying hypothesis directing the lab's work is that the differential expression and spatial organization of signal relay proteins control the responsiveness of different cell types to specific stimuli.
According to Johnson, aberrant spatial and temporal control of signal relay systems is a major contributing factor to human diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease and autoimmunity. The primary signal relay systems studied in the lab involve the mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways and how they regulate gene expression, cell growth, development and apoptosis.