Yamamoto to present pair of Distinguished Biomedical Scholar Lectures

The Carver College of Medicine’s 2015-2016 Distinguished Biomedical Scholars Lecture Series continues Thursday, February 18, and Friday, February 19, with two talks by University of California, San Francisco Vice Chancellor for Science Policy and Strategy, Keith R. Yamamoto, PhD. Dr. Yamamoto’s first talk, “Molecular Signal Processing: From a Steroid Hormone, to Transcriptional Regulatory Networks, to Physiology and Disease, and Back,” will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday in the Prem Sahai Auditorium (1110 MERF). Dr. Yamamoto’s second talk, “A NextGen Science Enterprise to Move Beyond the Inflection Point,” will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Friday in the Prem Sahai Auditorium. Both lectures are co-sponsored by the Department of Biochemistry, Graduate College and the Office of the Vice President for Research.

Dr. Yamamoto, an Iowa native, received a BS in biochemistry and biophysics from Iowa State University before heading east to earn his PhD in biochemical sciences at Princeton University with Bruce Alberts. He then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco with Gordon Tomkins and, in the four decades since, has continued to serve UCSF in a variety of vital roles. Today, Dr. Yamamoto is the Vice Chancellor for Research, Executive Vice Dean of the School of Medicine, and a professor of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology at UCSF. He was also named UCSF’s first Vice Chancellor of Science Policy and Strategy this fall.

Dr. Yamamoto is known for his boundless energy and commitment to both research and training. The Yamamoto laboratory focuses on the signaling and transcriptional regulation by nuclear receptors. After cloning the first steroid hormone receptor, Dr. Yamamoto’s novel molecular approaches revolutionized the field of transcription regulation. As co-chair of a National Institutes of Health task force, Dr. Yamamoto promoted substantive revisions in the peer review system and also created bold funding mechanisms for new investigators. He is an advocate for science policy that emphasizes integration on multiple levels. Dr. Yamamoto specifically encourages merging concepts and approaches from various disciplines, such as the physical sciences, engineering and the life sciences, as well as forging effective partnerships between academia, industry and government.

Dr. Yamamoto’s commitment to policy dates back to the 1980s, when he presciently argued against the United States Department of Defense’s development of biological weapons in his book, Gene Wars: Military Control over the New Genetic Technologies. More recently, he was recognized on Nature Medicine’s list of “10 influential people to watch in biomedical policy.” The local impact of his loyalty to UCSF earned Dr. Yamamoto the university’s Postdoctoral Scholars Association Outstanding Faculty Mentorship Award and the UCSF 150th Anniversary Alumni Excellence Award. He has also been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Story Source: Benji McElroy, UI Carver College of Medicine, 200 College of Medicine Administration Building, Iowa City, Iowa 52242

Media Contact: Jennifer Brown, UI Health Care Marketing and Communications, jennifer-l-brown@uiowa.edu

Date: 
Tuesday, February 16, 2016