Upstate News

November 28, 1999
Doretta Royer 315 464-4833

1993 Nobel Prize Recipient Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D, to Deliver Health Science Center’s Charles R. Ross Lecture Dec. 16

1993 Nobel Prize winner Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D, will deliver the Charles R. Ross Lecture at the Health Science Center at Syracuse, Thursday, Dec. 16 at 4 p.m. in the Medical Alumni Auditorium of Weiskotten Hall, 766 Irving. Sharp’s landmark discovery of RNA splicing in 1977 led to a better understanding of the genetic causes of cancer. The Charles R. Ross Lecture is free and open to the public and is an activity of the 13th Annual Charles R. Ross, Ph.D, Research Poster Session.

Sharp is Institute Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His research interests deal with the molecular biology of tumor viruses and the mechanisms of RNA splicing. His landmark achievement in 1977 was the discovery of RNA splicing, which provided one of the first indications of the phenomenon of discontinuous genes in the cells of mammals.

Prior to this discovery, biologists believed that genetic functions of all cells were similar to those of bacteria in which the gene coding for a protein exists as one continuous length on a strand of DNA. The discovery that genes contain nonsense segments that are edited out by cells in the course of using genetic information is important in understanding the genetic causes of cancer. This work and the work of others opened a whole area of advancement in molecular biology and changed the field forever, experts say. For this work, Sharp received the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Sharp serves on numerous committees, including the National Institute Advisory Board of the National Cancer Institute, among others. He received honorary doctor of medicine degrees from many universities, including Tel Aviv, Glasgow, Uppsala and Kentucky. His career publications in peer reviewed and other journals number more than 290.

For more information about Sharp’s lecture, call the Office of Research Development at the Health Science Center, 315-464-4317.

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