School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Dr. Peter Agre —“Aquaporin Water Channels: From Atomic Structure to Clinical Medicine ”

The School of Natural Sciences & Mathematics
is honored to present Dr. Peter Agre, the 2003 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry.

Tuesday, May 9, 2006
10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Kusch Auditorium (FN 2.102 )

Water is the major component of all cells and tissues for bacteria, plants, and mammals. To maintain even pressure in the cells, nature utilizes a very efficient system to send water across cell membranes.

How does water pass through cell membranes? The answer remained as one of the classical unsolved problems of biochemistry for more than 100 years.

Through contemporary science, Dr. Peter Agre isolated the protein needed for cellular water transport and in doing so discovered the elusive water channel.

Dr. Agre’s discovery opened the door to a new series of biochemical, physiological, and genetic studies of water channels. It is now possible for researchers to follow a water molecule on its way through the cell membrane.

In medicine, there are a number of illnesses attributed to the poor functioning of the water channels in the human body. A new approach can be used to develop more effective treatments and pharmaceuticals that tackle the problem on a molecular level.

Born in Northfield, Minnesota, Peter Agre received his B.S. from Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minnesota and his M.D. in 1974 from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland.

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  • Updated: May 1, 2012