2018 Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize Lectures
Bert W. O’Malley, MD
T. C. Thompson Distinguished Leadership Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology and Chancellor,
Baylor College of Medicine
“Science-based Medicine: Understanding Structure-Function of NR-Enhancer Coactivator Complexes with an Eye to Therapy”
Monday, October 29, 2018
Davis Auditorium (Rm. 412), Schapiro Center (CEPSR)
530 W. 120th St.
Bert O’Malley, MD, is the T.C. Thompson Distinguished Leadership Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology and Chancellor at Baylor College of Medicine. After graduating medical school at the University of Pittsburgh, he spent time on the faculties of Duke, NIH, and Vanderbilt. He was first to discover that steroid receptors are transcription factors that regulate mRNA production in target cells in response to intracellular hormones. He uncovered mechanisms for activating steroid receptors and discovered the existence of their “coregulators,” the coactivators and corepressors of gene transcription. The coregulators turned out to be the long sought “master regulators” of mammalian gene function. His work led to a molecular understanding of how hormonal antagonists work and had major importance to reproduction, genetic disease, metabolism, and especially growth (cancers). Dr. O’Malley is the founding father of the field of Molecular Endocrinology and a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine. He has received more than 60 honors and awards for his work, including the National Medal of Science (White House, 2008). He has trained more than 250 scientists, published more than 700 papers, and holds 27 patents in the fields of gene regulation, molecular endocrinology, and nuclear receptor and coactivator action. He later developed an interest in the impressive cooperation of nuclear proteins in dysfunctional processes of transcription in cancer, metabolic disease, and heart damage. This interest was fueled by his recent many studies of the entire coregulatsome of mammals detailing the crossover roles of transcription/repair coactivator proteins. In very recent work, he developed the concept that small molecules can regulate coactivators to produce therapeutic outcomes for diseases such as cancer.