Impact of scientific advances on drug studies and membrane research to be explored

How to apply scientific advances to drug research, particularly on the structure and function of cell membranes, is among the topics to be addressed during the De Lange Conference at Rice University in Houston March 7-9.

Titled "Frontiers of Medicine: Society, Pharmacology and Membrane Biology in the Genomic Era," the conference will gather international experts for three days of presentations and discussions centered around the changing role of medicine in society, the future of drug discovery, and research on the membrane proteins and lipids that form the drug-targeted boundary between cells and their environment.

Among the speakers are Alan Leshner, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, who will examine the evolving relationship of science and society; Susan Greenfield, professor of pharmacology at the University of Oxford, who will discuss the role of the brain and biotechnology in the future; and Lee Silver, professor of molecular biology at Princeton University, who will present "Challenging Mother Nature: Biotechnology in a Spiritual World."

The first day of the conference is geared toward the general public and scientists interested in the implications and challenges society faces as a result of rapid progress in biomedical science. The remainder of the program is primarily focused on biomembranes, with topics ranging from channels that allow proteins to cross membranes and receptors that signal changing conditions of a cell's environment, to the molecular biology and genetics of the membrane processes leading to thermosensation and hearing. For a complete list of speakers, topics and the schedule, visit www.delange.rice.edu.

The conference is free, but space for science writers and other members of the media is limited; to register, media should contact B.J. Almond in the Office of News and Media Relations at Rice at balmond@rice.edu'"/>

Contact: B.J. Almond
Rice University

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