Dr. Nahum Sonenberg to Deliver 2017 Aaron J. Shatkin Lecture

The 2017 Aaron J. Shatkin Lecture, "Translational Control of Disease via eIF4E", will be held on Tuesday, November 14 at 4:00PM in the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Main Lecture Hall, adjacent to CABM. Attendees are invited to a reception in the Great Hall immediately following the lecture.

Dr. Sonenberg received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the Weizmann Institute of Science (Rehovot, Israel) in 1976. He joined the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology in Nutley, New Jersey as a Chaim Weizmann postdoctoral fellow with Aaron Shatkin. In 1979 he moved to Montreal to become an Assistant Professor and later Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at McGill University. In 1985-86 he took a sabbatical leave and was visiting professor in David Baltimore’s laboratory at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. Since 2002 Dr. Sonenberg is a James McGill Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and the Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Research Centre at McGill.

Dr. Sonenberg studies the molecular basis of the control of protein synthesis in eukaryotic cells and its importance in diseases such as cancer, obesity, diabetes and neurological diseases. His research focuses primarily on the elucidation of the mechanism of translation initiation in eukaryotes and its regulation during development, differentiation and neoplasia. Dr. Sonenberg carried out pioneering and fundamental work that laid the basis for the understanding of how translation initiation factors promote ribosome binding, and the regulation of initiation factor activity by extracellular stimuli (growth factors, hormones, G-protein-coupled receptor agonists, cytokines and mitogens), and viruses. He made seminal discoveries demonstrating that control of translation initiation is implicated in cancer, learning and memory, autism and fragile X-syndrome.

Dr. Sonenberg was recognized for his achievements with numerous prizes and honours. In 2002, he was awarded the Robert L. Noble Prize from the National Cancer Institute of Canada; he has been a fellow of The Royal Society of Canada since 1992; he received the Killam Prize for Health Sciences in 2005 and the Gairdner International Award in 2008; he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and The Royal Society of London, UK in 2006. He became a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and received the Rosenstiel Award in 2012. In 2013 he was elected an Associate Member of the EMBO; in 2014 Dr. Sonenberg received the Wolf Prize in Medicine, and in 2015 he was elected Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA and Member of the National Academy of Medicine, USA.

The Endowed Aaron J. Shatkin Lectureship

To recognize the scientific achievements and the excellence in science and education fostered by CABM founding director, Aaron Shatkin, an endowed annual lectureship was established in his name and announced at the 25th Anniversary CABM Symposium in October 2011. Dr. Shatkin attended the inaugural lecture, delivered by Dr. Harold Varmus in April 2012.

CABM appreciates the tremendous support expressed for the Aaron J. Shatkin Lectureship and extends our warmest thanks to friends, colleagues and donors to the fund. With your support, the Shatkin Lecture has become a highly anticipated event on campus each spring.

To contribute to the lectureship fund, please visit the Aaron J. Shatkin Lectureship Fund page.

Past Lectures

2016
Dr. William Hait: 'Immorbidity: Leading a Life Free of Disease'

2015
Dr. Thomas Cech: 'Crawling Out of the RNA World: Noncoding RNAs and Their Protein Partners'

2014
Dr. Joseph L. Goldstein and Dr. Michael S. Brown: 'A Century of Cholesterol Research: From Plaques to Genes to Statins'

2013
Dr. David Baltimore: 'A microRNA is a Guardian of the Health of Hematopoietic Stem Cells'

2012
Dr. Harold Varmus: 'Good Questions Drive Good Science'