October 26, 2018

Thomas D. Gelehrter Lectureship

2:00 PM

BSRB, Kahn Auditorium
109 Zina Pitcher Place, Ground Level

"Leveraging Nature's Success: Lessons from Modifiers of Cardiovascular Disease" by Harry (Hal) C. Dietz, MD, Victor A. McKusick Professor of Genetics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

This annual lectureship honors Dr. Thomas D. Gelehrter, a leader within the human genetics community and internationally recognized as an expert in human genetics. Dr. Gelehrter joined the University of Michigan Medical School faculty in 1974 and served as chair of the Department of Human Genetics for 17 years, from 1987 to 2004. He is currently an active Professor Emeritus in the department. The Lectureship builds upon Dr. Gelehrter's career dedicated to promoting excellence in research, education, and care in medical genetics and will be an enduring legacy that continues to raise awareness about the importance of medical genetics and improve this vital field. A prominent scientist in the field of medical genetics who embodies the principles that inspired Dr. Gelehrter's outstanding contributions to human genetic research, teaching and patient care is invited to speak at the annual lectureship.


Harry C. Dietz, MD

Harry C. Dietz, MD

Victor A. McKusick Professor of Genetics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Harry (Hal) C. Dietz, MD is the Victor A. McKusick Professor of Genetics in the Departments of Medicine, Pediatrics, and Molecular Biology and Genetics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and director of the William S. Smilow Center for Marfan Syndrome Research. He is also an HHMI investigator and former President of the American Society of Human Genetics.  Dietz is interested in identifying the determinants of vascular wall development and homeostasis, with a particular emphasis on processes that contribute to inherited forms of aortic aneurysm. The Dietz lab studies the role of transforming growth factor-beta (TGFbeta) in other manifestations of connective tissue disorders including emphysema, skeletal muscle myopathy, and fibrosis.  His work has led to major breakthroughs in understanding and treating Marfan syndrome, including understanding how fibrillin mutations lead to excess TGF beta signaling, and demonstrating that the drug losartan can inhibit this and suppress excessive growth of the aorta.