The TNQ Distinguished Lectures in the Life Sciences 2019

Featured Speaker - Dr Helen Hobbs

Lecture - "Genetic Disorders of Dietary Excess: Getting to the Heart of the Matter"


February 11, 2019. 4.30 p.m. Savitribai Phule Auditorium (Formerly DST), University of Hyderabad Campus.


February 13, 2019. 4.30 p.m. St. John’s Auditorium (Opp. BDA Complex).

New Delhi:

February 15, 2019. 4.30 p.m. All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) Auditorium, JNU Campus.

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Registration is free but required for entry.

Dr Helen H. Hobbs is a physician-scientist who attended Stanford University and Case Western Reserve Medical School before training in internal medicine at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX. After completing a post-doctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Drs. Joseph Goldstein and Michael Brown, she joined the faculty of UT Southwestern. Since 2002 she has been an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. In 1999, she established the Dallas Heart Study (DHS), a phenotypically well-characterized, multiethnic, population-based study. Together with Jonathan Cohen, in this population she showed that low frequency variants contribute to complex traits and diseases. They discovered that loss-of-function variants in PCSK9 lower plasma levels of LDL-cholesterol and confer protection from heart disease. These observations led to the rapid development of two FDA-approved, anti-PCSK9 antibodies for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia and the prevention of coronary atherosclerosis. In a similar fashion, they have identified mutations in selected members of the angiopoietin-like family (ANGPTL-3,-4, -8) that lower plasma lipid levels. More recently, they identified sequence variations that are associated with the full spectrum of alcoholic and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (FLD), including steatosis, steatohepatitis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

Dr. Hobbs was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2004 and the National Academy of Sciences in 2007. She was awarded the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences in 2015, the Passano Award (with Jonathan Cohen) in 2016, and the Harrington Prize for Innovation and Medicine (2018).

Previous Speakers:

  • 2008: David Baltimore, President Emeritus and Professor of Biology at Caltech. He shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Howard Temin and Renato Dulbecco for their work on viruses and cancer.
  • 2009: Elizabeth Blackburn, now the President of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. She was awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with Carol Greider and Jack Szostak for their research on telomeres.
  • 2012: Shinya Yamanaka, an adult stem cell researcher with Kyoto University and UCSF. He and John Gurdon won the 2012 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for the discovery that mature cells can be converted to stem cells.
  • 2014: Huda Y. Zoghbi, known for her study of Rett syndrome and spinocerebellar ataxias. She is a professor at Baylor College of Medicine and Director of the Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital.
  • 2015: Eric S. Lander, a mathematician turned biologist turned geneticist, who is President and Founding Director of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT.
  • 2016: Karl Deisseroth, a Stanford University neuroscientist and psychologist who pioneered the groundbreaking technique known as optogenetics, which has revolutionized our ability to visualize and manipulate brain circuits.
  • 2017: Mary-Claire King, a University of Washington geneticist who pioneered the idea that breast cancer could be a heritable disease.
  • 2018: Dr David J Anderson, a California Institute of Technology neurobiologist and leader in the neurobiological foundations of emotion.

About TNQ

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