| Prof. David J. Gross | Prof. Aaron Ciechanover | Prof. Finn E. Kydland | Dr. Sir Paul M. Nurse |


March 20-24, 2017

Opening doors worldwide through medical science

Dr. Peter Agre

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Peter Agre is a Professor of Biological Chemistry and Professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine as well as the Director of the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute at the Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore who was awarded the 2003 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for the studies he began in the late 1980s concerning channels in cell membranes. The award illustrated how contemporary biochemistry reaches down to the atomic level in its quest to understand the fundamental processes of life. That the body's cells must contain specific channels for transporting water was suspected as early as the middle of the nineteenth century. However, it was not until 1988 that Professor Agre succeeded in isolating a membrane protein that he realized must be the long-sought-after water channel out of and into cells. This discovery opened the door to a whole series of biochemical, physiological and genetic studies of great importance for the understanding of many diseases of e.g. the kidneys, heart, muscles, nervous system, eyes and secretory glands.

Dr. Agre received his BA in chemistry from Augsburg College in 1970 and his MD from Johns Hopkins University in 1974. Following an Internal Medicine Residency at Case Western Reserve University Hospitals of Cleveland and a Hematology-Oncology Fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Dr. Agre returned to Johns Hopkins as a postdoctoral fellow in cell biology. He joined the faculty in 1984 and has spent most of his professional life at Hopkins' School of Medicine, leaving in 2005 to become Vice Chancellor for Science and Technology at Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina where he guided the development of Duke's biomedical research. His return to Hopkins and JHMRI in 2008 has given Dr. Agre the opportunity to concentrate on an area in which he has always been interested - the problem of disease in the developing world.

Dr. Agre's research in red-blood-cell biochemistry led to the first known membrane defects in congenital hemolytic anemias (spherocytosis) and produced the first isolation of the Rh blood group antigens. In 1992 his laboratory became widely recognized for discovering the aquaporins, a family of water channel proteins found throughout nature and responsible for numerous physiological processes in humans including kidney concentration as well as the secretion of spinal fluid, aqueous humor, tears, sweat and the release of glycerol from fat. Aquaporins have been implicated in multiple clinical disorders including fluid retention, bedwetting, brain edema, cataracts, heat prostration and obesity, and if aquaporin could be manipulated, it could potentially solve medical problems such as fluid retention in heart disease and brain edema after stroke. Water transport in lower organisms, microbes and plants also depend upon aquaporins.

For his work on aquaporins Dr. Agre shared the Nobel Prize with Prof. Roderick MacKinnon of Rockefeller University, and he was subsequently awarded a JHMRI pilot grant to extend his studies of aquaporins to malaria, addressing the question of whether or not aquaporins could be exploited as a means of treating or preventing the disease. Initial encouraging results have led to an NIH grant and a focus on malaria as the primary area of study in Dr. Agre's laboratory. He oversees 20 faculty research groups as well as field activities in Zimbabwe and Zambia.

As President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Dr. Agre has led science in diplomacy missions to Cuba, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Iran and Myanmar. Among his many honors are the election to the National Academy of Sciences in 2000, to the Institute of Medicine in 2005 for which he chaired the Committee on Human Rights, to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003 and the American Philosophical Society in 2004. He is a Member of the Advisory Board of the International Peace Foundation and has received 17 honorary doctorate degrees from universities in Denmark, Greece, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Poland and the United States as well as the Commandership in the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit from HM King Harald V.


Monday, March 20, 2017:

10:00 Dialogue with high school students at the Australian International School in Singapore
(not a public event)

14:00 Master class at the Australian International School in Singapore
(not a public event)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017:

09:30 Keynote speech and dialogue on "Aquaporin water channels - the Nobel lecture" at the Bandung Institute of Technology
Information and free seat reservation: phone (022) 250-4282, fax (022) 250-4282, email iro@itb.ac.id

14:00 Keynote speech and dialogue at Padjadjaran University in Bandung
Information and free seat reservation: phone (022) 8428-8846, fax (022) 8428-8889, email dir.kerjasama@unpad.ac.id

Friday, March 24, 2017:

14:00 Keynote speech and dialogue at Udayana University in Bali
Information and free seat reservation: phone (0361) 701-907, mobile (0822) 3633-0449, fax (031) 701-954, email madesuatra@yahoo.co.id, pr4@unud.ac.id