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MIT’s Lippard to Present Allergan Distinguished Lecture March 23

Published: March 15, 2011

Stephen J. Lippard of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) will present the Allergan Distinguished Lecture on Wednesday, March 23, sponsored by the CSULB Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Lippard will speak on “Understanding and Improving Platinum Anticancer Drugs” from 11 a.m.-noon in University Student Union Beach Auditorium, and “Probing Roles of Mobile Zinc and Nitric Oxide Signaling in Biology” from 4-5 p.m. in the Pacific Room of the Chart Room restaurant.

Lippard is the Arthur Amos Noyes Professor of Chemistry at MIT, where his lab focuses on reactions and physical and structural properties of metal complexes, which can be useful as cancer drugs and as models for the activity of metalloproteins, which have important biological functions.

He is affiliated with MIT’s Center for Cancer Research and is recognized for his work on understanding and improving platinum-containing cancer drugs including cisplatin, used primarily to treat testicular and ovarian cancers.

His other research interests include the structure of proteins in an enzyme called methane monooxygenase in aerobic bacteria that converts methane (natural gas) and oxygen to liquid methanol and water. Understanding this chemistry is helpful in processes of bioremediation, in which microorganisms are used to clean contaminated water and soil.

Additionally, Lippard developed a fluorescent sensor that allows researchers to observe nitric oxide (NO) in living cells. NO is a molecule that serves a variety of important functions in organisms as well as in the chemical industry.

Stephen J. Lippard
Stephen Lippard

He is the 2006 recipient of the National Medal of Science and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, among numerous awards. He received his Ph.D. from MIT and was a professor at Columbia University before returning to MIT in 1983.

The lecture series is sponsored by the Allergan Foundation and is open free to the public. This year’s event is part of the CSULB Chemistry/Biochemistry Department’s observance of the International Year of Chemistry 2011, an initiative of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, and the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, celebrating the achievements of chemistry as the central science.

For more information, contact Professor Lijuan Li, 562/985-5068.

–Anne Ambrose