The 2023 Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize Lectures
Columbia will award the 2023 Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize to Drs. Zhijian "James" Chen and Glen N. Barber for discovering the cGAS-STING pathway, a key component of one of the body’s first line of defenses, the innate immune system. Each awardee will present a lecture on February 12, 2024. See below for details.
“Stinging the Immune System into Action”
Glen N. Barber, PhD
Eugenia J. Dodson Chair in Cancer Research
Professor and Chair of Cell Biology
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Monday, February 12, 2024 at 10 AM
The Forum at Columbia University
605 W. 125th St.
Note: Please arrive with enough time to check-in and enjoy light refreshments before the lecture. Light refreshments will also be available after the lecture.
Dr. Glen N. Barber is the Eugenia J. Dodson Chair in Cancer Research and professor and chair of cell biology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Dr. Barber’s research has led to the discovery of STING, the stimulator of interferon genes. The 2008 discovery triggers host defense immune responses following infection by DNA microbes, such as certain viruses, bacteria, and even parasites. Dr. Barber and his team found the key regulatory molecules and pathway first. It later became clear that STING signaling is also extremely important for activating anti-tumor immunity. This work further shows that STING sheds insight into causes of inflammatory disease. These significant research discoveries have spawned efforts to design novel drugs that target the STING pathway for new treatments of a variety of diseases such as severe systemic lupus erythematosus. Dr. Barber has been awarded the William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic and Tumor Immunology and the Milstein Award from the International Society of Interferon and Cytokine Research. He is an elected member of the Royal Society.
“The enemy within - how does the immune system detect DNA as a danger signal?”
Zhijian "James" Chen, PhD
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
George MacGregor Distinguished Chair in Biomedical Sciences
Professor of Molecular Biology
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Monday, February 12, 2024 at 3 PM
650 W. 168th St., 1st Floor
Dr. Zhijian "James" Chen is the George MacGregor Distinguished Chair in Biomedical Sciences, professor of molecular biology, and director of the Inflammation Research Center at the University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. From 1994 to 1997, Dr. Chen was a senior scientist at ProScript Inc., where he helped discover the proteasome inhibitor VELCADE, a medicine used for the treatment of multiple myeloma. After joining UT Southwestern in 1997, Dr. Chen discovered the regulatory role of ubiquitination in protein kinase activation in the NF-κB and MAP kinase pathways. In addition, he discovered the Mitochondrial Antiviral Signaling (MAVS) protein that reveals a new role of mitochondria in immunity. More recently, Dr. Chen discovered cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS) as a cytosolic DNA sensor and a new cyclic di-nucleotide signaling pathway that mediates innate immune responses in animal cells. For his work, Dr. Chen has received numerous honors including the National Academy of Science Award in Molecular Biology (2012), the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) Merck Award (2015), the Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences from the Foundation of NIH (2018), the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences (2019), the Switzer Prize (2019), and the William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic and Tumor Immunology (2020). Dr. Chen is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine.
- The Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize Website
- Press Release: The 2023 Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize Winners
- Past Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize Winners