Environmental Factor

April 2011

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Upcoming Distinguished Lecturer Ron de Kloet

By Eddy Ball
April 2011

Ron de Kloet, Ph.D.

After completing his postdoctoral training at Rockefeller University in 1975, de Kloet returned to the Netherlands to teach at the University of Utrecht before accepting his current position at Leiden University. Reflecting on his nearly four decades of research, he opened the multidisciplinary 7th World Congress on Stress last summer with a plenary lecture outlining his vision of "The Future of Stress." (Photo courtesy of Ron de Kloet)

The 2010-2011 NIEHS Distinguished Lecture Series continues a series of talks on neuroscience when it hosts a lecture by neuroendocrinologist Ron de Kloet, Ph.D., April 12. De Kloet will discuss his research into stress, hormones, and the brain in a presentation titled "Resilience or vulnerability to environmental challenge? A question of stress, genes and balance."

Honored as academy professor by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, de Kloet(http://www.rondekloet.nl/) Exit NIEHS is a professor in the Department of Medical Pharmacology and former head of the Division of Medical Pharmacology at Leiden University. He is a prolific researcher, having authored or co-authored 462 articles in peer-review journals, 131 reviews, and six books.

In 2010, de Kloet was honored for his career achievements as a knight of the Order of the Dutch Lion during the 7th World Congress on Stress(http://newsletters.invisage.net/stress2010/stress-news-4.html) Exit NIEHS in Leiden - the latest in a long list of awards for his contributions to neuroendocrinology and psychiatry. He is a member of several major professional societies and serves as the chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board for the Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry.

De Kloet studies the effects of chronic stress and elevated or reduced cortisol on feedback loops in neuronal circuits that underlie emotional and cognitive functioning. The overall objective of his research program is to identify the cortisol-dependent mechanism underlying the pathogenesis of severe depression.

His lab at the Leiden/Amsterdam Center for Drug Research employs genomics, systems biology, and bio-informatics approaches in animal models and in the post-mortem material of patients to identify patterns of responsive gene/protein products. Candidate genes are then manipulated in animal models to address the questions of how cortisol can impair cognition and emotion, as well as how anti-glucocorticoids ameliorate the impaired cognitive and emotional processes, using behavioral, endocrine, and imaging endpoints.

The talk, which begins at 11:00 a.m. in Rodbell auditorium will be hosted by NIEHS Molecular Endocrinology Group Principal Investigator and Chief of the Laboratory of Signal Transduction John Cidlowski, Ph.D.(http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/atniehs/labs/stl/pi/molecular/)

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