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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Yale researcher to speak on cells, emerging cancer treatments

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KINGSTON, R.I. – August 25, 2005 – Donald M. Engelman, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale University, will speak at the University of Rhode Island on Thursday, Sept. 8 at 4 p.m.

The talk, “Building the Boundaries of Cells: The Architecture of Biological Membranes,” will be delivered in Room 271 of the Chafee Social Science Center, URI Kingston campus. It is free and open to the public.

Engelman studies cancer cell membrane and membrane proteins structure and organization. The fundamental research conducted in his lab led to the discovery of a membrane Ph-sensitive peptide. The peptide might lead to the development of a more effective method of cancer therapy and diagnosis.

The peptide is being used by Yana Reshetnyak, an assistant professor of physics at the University of Rhode Island, to stop cancer cell growth without harming the healthy cells that surround them. The Russian-born Reshetnyak completed a postdoctoral fellowship in membrane biophysics with Engelman at Yale. The two scientists continue to collaborate.

He is chair of the science and technology steering committee of the Brookhaven National Laboratory and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Engelman’s speech is the annual Cruickshank Lecture, endowed by the trustees of the Gordon Research Conferences. The lecture is named after Alexander M. Cruickshank, who until his retirement in 1993, served as the conferences’ director for 47 years. Cruickshank is also a retired professor and was chair of URI’s Chemistry Department.