Faculty of Science Event Nobel Talks: "SENSATIONAL! Molecules that help cells sense their environment"

Thursday, June 20, 2013
15:00 - 16:30

Edgar C. Young
Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, SFU


When startled with a stressful event, our body pumps adrenalin into the bloodstream as an emergency signal to many different types of cells. There are many other examples of diverse information signals sent to cells --- but how can a cell sense any of these signals? The 2012 Chemistry Nobel Prize recognizes Robert Lefkowitz and Brian Kobilka who resolved this puzzle through decades of tenacious work. Their discovery of the identity and structure of essential "receptor" molecules explains how the sensing mechanism works leading the way for designing new drugs that target these receptor molecules and control cell function during treatment of diseases.