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Presented By: Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology

MCDB Connell Lecture > Thomas C. Südhof, M.D.

"On the molecular logic of synapse organization"

Portrait of Thomas Südhof Portrait of Thomas Südhof
Portrait of Thomas Südhof
Thomas C. Südhof is a Nobel-prize winning biochemist at Stanford University.

The Südhof laboratory studies how synapses form in the brain and how their properties are specified, which together organize neural circuits. Moreover, the Südhof laboratory examines how synapses become dysfunctional in neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders to pave the way for better therapies.

Dr. Südhof has had a remarkably productive career studying the molecular mechanisms controlling synaptic transmission and synaptogenesis. He is perhaps best known for his work identifying the core molecular machinery controlling the fusion of synaptic vesicles with the plasma membrane, including the calcium sensor synaptotagmin. His group also discovered neurexins and neuroligins, which are important cell-surface proteins controlling the specificity synapse formation.

In recent years, his group and collaborators have explored the molecular basis of several human diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia and autism.

Dr. Südhof has been an HHMI Investigator since 1986 and is the recipient of many awards recognizing his fundamental contributions to neuroscience and cell/molecular biology--among them, induction into the National Academy of Sciences (2002), the Kavli Prize (2010), the Albert Lasker Award (2013) as well as the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology.

After Dr. Südhof’s seminar there will be a reception in the West Atrium of the Biological Sciences Building under the life-size model of a pterosaur (Quetzalcoatlus northropi, the largest known flying animal to ever live on earth).

Please join us on March 14 for what will no doubt be a fascinating talk and an opportunity to meet with Dr. Südhof and members of the U-M science community.


Connell Lecture
This special event is possible through an endowment from Priscilla Connell's family as a memorial to her career as a nature photographer.

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