Saturday, February 18, 2012: 12:00 PM-12:45 PM
Room 211 (VCC West Building)Dr. Hirokawa uses electron microscopy, molecular cell biology and genetics, structural biology, and biophysics to study the structure and functions of major microtubule-associated proteins. He uncovered the many diverse functions of the kinesin superfamily proteins, and was the first researcher to provide a clear answer to the long-standing question of how motor proteins recognize and bind to their own cargoes. The newly discovered KIF17 was shown to transport major receptors for a key excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain, namely glutamate, and was revealed to fundamentally control learning and memory through a transcriptional factor CREB. Dr. Hirokawa received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Tokyo. After 5 years as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, San Francisco, and an Associate Professor at Washington University, he became a Professor and Chair of the Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, University of Tokyo. He is a Japan Academy member.
Nobutaka Hirokawa, University of Tokyo
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