The next Distinguished Scientist Seminar will be presented by Dr. Guy Caldwell on May 20, 2010 at 4 p.m. in the Medical Sciences Building (MSB) auditorium. His lecture is titled “Traversing a Wormhole to Combat Parkinson’s Disease.”
Dr. Caldwell is an associate professor in the department of biological sciences at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala. He received his undergraduate degree in biology from Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, in 1986 and his Ph.D. in cell, molecular and developmental biology from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tenn., in 1993. Subsequently, he completed postdoctoral fellowships from the National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke at Columbia University in New York.
In 2001, Caldwell was named a Basil O'Connor Scholar of The March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation for his research into the molecular basis of childhood birth defects of the brain. This work included establishing a new animal model for epilepsy.
Using a worm known as C. elegans, the Caldwell lab discovered that a protein called VPS41 prevented dopamine-producing neurons from dying. In humans, the death of dopamine neurons leads to tremors, slowness of movement and rigidity associated with Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Caldwell was selected as the 2005 Alabama Professor of the year in recognition of his dedication to undergraduate education.
For more details on Dr. Caldwell’s research, please visit: http://www.ua.edu/academic/professorofyear/vitae.html . For additional information, please contact Natalie Kent at 461-1548 or visit: http://www.southalabama.edu/com/dss.shtml .