The mitochondrial calcium uniporter: molecular identity and physiological role.
The 5th Annual Sir John Walker Lecture will be delivered by Professor Rosario Rizzuto.
In 2011, Professor Rizzuto identified the mitochondrial calcium uniporter (MCU), the only fundamental component of the cellular calcium signalling machinery yet to be discovered (De Stefani et al., Nature 476, 338-340, 2011). This result has opened the molecular era of mitochondrial Ca2+ homeostasis, that combines molecular insight into the structure/function relationship of MCU and its regulators (Raffaello et al., EMBO J. 32, 2362-2376; Patron et al. Mol. Cell 53, 726-37) and the possibility of manipulating mitochondrial Ca2+ handling in cultured cells and animal models, to clarify its role in the physiological regulation of tissues and in the pathogenesis of the most prevalent human diseases (neurodegenerative disorders, ischemic heart disease, cancer). Professor Rizzuto has published over 304 articles in international journals surveyed by Pubmed (more than 22,000 citations, h-index of 78, from ISI Web of Science) including Science, Nature and Cell. He is a member of Academia Europaea and the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) . His research is funded by the EU (ERC Advanced Ideas "Mitocalcium") project, by AIRC, Telethon, from the Cariparo Foundation and the Ministries of Education and Health. He is a recipient of the Chiara D'Onofrio Award, the Biotec Award, the Theodor Bucher Medal and the Antonio Feltrinelli Prize of the Accademia dei Lincei (2014). His academic achievements include: Degree (medicine and surgery, 1986); PhD (biology and molecular and cellular pathology), Researcher of General Pathology (MED/04), Padua (1992-1998); Associate Professor (1998-2002) and Professor, Ferrara (2002-2008), Professor, Padua (2008-present). Dean, Faculty of Pharmacy, Ferrara (2006-2008), Director, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Padua (2009-2015); member of the Academic Senate, Padua (2012-2015). In October 2015 he was elected Chancellor (Magnificus Rector) of the University of Padua.
Following the lecture, a reception will be held in the foyer at 5.30pm.