15th Annual George Adrouny Lecture and the History of the Adrouny Memorial Lectureship


The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is proud to present the 15th Annual George Adrouny Memorial Lectureship, taking place on Monday, April 11th, at 10:00am in the 1st floor auditorium of the Louisiana Cancer Research Center, 1700 Tulane Avenue.  This event is significant in 2016, as this marks the 15th anniversary of this much anticipated, well received event.

Hongtao Yu

This year's featured speaker is Hongtao Yu, PhD, Michael L. Rosenberg Scholar in Medical Research, Department of Pharmacology, University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas Texas.  Dr. Yu was born in China in 1969. He received his B.S. in Chemistry from Peking University (Beijing, China). He came to the U.S. in 1990 and received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Harvard University (Cambridge, MA) in 1995. His thesis research focused on the structure determination of protein modules involved in signal transduction. He then completed his postdoctoral training in Biology at Harvard Medical School (1995-1999). During his postdoctoral training, Dr. Yu studied the regulation of the cell division cycle in vertebrates. In 1999, Dr. Yu began his independent research career as an Assistant Professor and the Michael L. Rosenberg Scholar in Biomedical Research at the Department of Pharmacology at UT Southwestern Medical Center. He was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2004 and to Professor in 2008. He was selected as an HHMI Investigator in 2008. His lab studies cellular mechanisms that govern chromosome inheritance and integrity using a combination of cell biological, biochemical, and biophysical methods.

Dr. Yu's lecture is entitled "Mitotic Regulators in Chromosome Segregation and Beyond".

The History of the George Adrouny Memorial Lecture

As a memorial to their late father, the distinguished former Professor of Biochemistry, George A. Adrouny, a memorial lectureship was established in 2000 by his children and family to honor his memory. The Department of Biochemistry, Tulane University Health Sciences Center, School of Medicine, is proud to host this annual event.

George AdrounyGeorge A. Adrouny was born of Armenian parents in Turkey on April 2, 1912. He received his B.A. in chemistry in 1934, and a degree in pharmaceutical chemistry in 1940, both from the American University of Beirut. While working as a freelance pharmacist, he also taught chemistry and biology at Aleppo College in Aleppo, Syria. In 1951, a Smith-Mundt Fellowship permitted him to begin graduate studies at Emery University where he earned a Ph.D. in Biochemistry in 1954. After two years as a Research Associate in Biochemistry at Emory, he was recruited to the Tulane University School of Medicine, Department of Biochemistry, where he ultimately rose to the rank of full professor. 

Dr. Adrouny’s research interests were diverse. His identification and characterization of the fire ant venom was published in 1959 in Science magazine. He also published papers in the areas of cardiac glycogen metabolism, intestinal dextran-hydrolyzing enzymes, biochemical effects of growth hormone and the phylogenic and evolutionary importance of hickory nut and pecan oils. 

He headed the Foreign Fellows Program, specifically created for foreign graduate students studying at Tulane. He also was placed in charge of the Medical Biochemistry course, a post that he enjoyed until his retirement in 1981. In recognition of his devotion to the organization and teaching of this course, the Owl Club gave him a certificate of recognition in 1981. He was named Professor Emeritus following his retirement from the Medical School. 

Dr. Adrouny was a member of the Society of Sigma Xi, the New York Academy of Sciences, the American Chemical Society and he was a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences. He was listed in the Who’s Who of American Education in 1967-68. 

In 1987, a few years after the death of Alice K. Adrouny, his wife of 38 years, Dr. Adrouny moved to Maryland to be near family where he lived until his death on November 24, 1999.

Our Keynote Speakers

We have been privileged  to be able to present keynote speakers of international importance in their respective areas of science.  Below is a list of these individuals.

Kenneth MannNovember 6, 2000
Kenneth G. Mann, Ph.D.
University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
Blood Coagulation at the Turn of the Century

Billy HudsonSeptember 10, 2001
Billy Hudson, Ph.D.
University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS
Basement Membrane Collagen: An Ancient Protein Essential for Tissue Development


Dagmar RingeSeptember 23, 2002
Dagmar Ringe, Ph.D.
Brandeis University, Waltham, MA
From Sequence to Function: How Easy Is It?


Tim TownesSeptember 8, 2003
Tim Townes, Ph.D.
University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL
Human Globin Gene Regulation and Genetic Strategies for Correcting Thalassemias and Sickle Cell Disease


Diana BeattieOctober 1, 2004
Diana S. Beattie, Ph.D.
West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, WV
The Unique Mitochondrion of the African Parasite, Trypanosoma brucei


2005 and 2006 – Hurricane Katrina – no lectures

Gerald HartApril 13, 2007
Gerald W. Hart, Ph.D.
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Bethesda, MD
Dynamic Cycling of O-GlcNAc:  Interplay with Phosphorylation and Roles in Diabetes, Signaling and Transcription

Marlene BelfortApril 7, 2008
Marlene Belfort, Ph.D.
NYS Department of Health, Center for Medicine, Albany, NY
Genome Invaders:  Mobile Self-Splicing Introns in Bacteria

Stephen SligarApril 17, 2009
Stephen G. Sligar, Ph.D.
University of Illinois, Urbana, IL
Elucidating the Structure and Function of Membrane Proteins through Nanotechnology

Thomas SeyfriedApril 9, 2010
Thomas Seyfried, Ph.D.
Boston College, Boston, MA
Ganglioside Storage Disease:  On the Road to Management

Ellen SidranskyApril 15, 2011
Ellen Sidransky, M.D.
National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD
Gaucher Disease and Parkinsonism:  Insights From a Rare Disorder

Robert RoederMay 21, 2012
Robert G. Roeder, Ph.D.
Rockefeller University, New York, NY
Transcriptional Regulatory Mechanisms in Animal Cells


Arnold LevineApril 12, 2013
Arnold J. Levine, Ph.D.
Institute for Advanced Studies, School of Natural Sciences, Princeton, NJ
The Evolution of the p53 Family of Genes and their Role in Cancer

Wei GuApril 14, 2014
Wei Gu, Ph.D
Abraham and Mildred Goldstein Profess, Department of Pathology & Cell Biology, Institute for Genetics, Herbert Irving Cancer Research Center, Columbia University, New York, NY
Do We Really Know How p53 Suppresses Tumorigenesis?


Carol Prives    November 1, 2015 (in conjunction with the 8th International MDM2 Workshop)
   Carol Prives, Ph.D.
   DaCosta Professor of Biological Sciences
   Department of Biological Sciences
   Columbia University, New York, NY
   p53-Dependent and Independent Roles of Mdm2 in Cancer Cells and Human Disease


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