Biology Lecture to Honor Founding UT Dallas Faculty Member

Researcher from UT Southwestern  to Discuss Cancer Treatments Tailored for Individual Patients

The Department of Molecular and Cell Biology will honor the scientific achievements of one of its founding faculty members and long-time leaders with a public lecture April 3.

Dr. Royston Clowes

Dr. Royston Clowes, for whom the lecture series is named, was an expert on bacterial genetics. He led the University's Biology Division from 1968 to 1974 and again from 1979 until 1989.

In 1965, Dr. Royston Clowes joined the faculty of the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest, which would become The University of Texas at Dallas in 1969. He was head of the Biology Division from 1968 to 1974 and from 1979 until his death in 1989.

Clowes was an expert on bacterial genetics. His work in plasmid biology had implications for medicine and was at the center of recombinant DNA technology, which has had wide-ranging applications in biotechnology, laboratory research and drug development. His research also contributed to a better understanding of drug-resistance factors in disease-causing bacteria.

The Biology Graduate Student Organization at UT Dallas established the Royston Clowes Memorial Lecture Series in 1990 to honor Clowes’ contributions to the University and to biology. The lecture series is funded in part by the Clowes Memorial Endowment, which was established by funds given in Clowes’ memory.

Dr. Michael White, professor of cell biology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, will give the 23rd Clowes Memorial Lecture at 5 p.m. April 3 in the TI Auditorium in the Engineering and Computer Science Building (ECSS 2.102) at UT Dallas. His talk, titled “Harnessing Cancer Genome Diversity for Intervention Target Identification and Development,” is free.

Dr. Michael White, professor of cell biology at UT Southwestern Medical Center

Dr. Michael White, this year's Clowes Memorial Lecture speaker, is a professor of cell biology at UT Southwestern.

The lecture will address personalized medicine and the challenges involved in identifying the right treatment for an individual patient, said Pallevi Srivastva, a graduate student in molecular and cell biology at UT Dallas and a co-organizer of the event.

“Personalized medicine is a treatment or drug routine that is tailored according a patient’s genetic makeup, and it should therefore be well-suited to that patient,” Srivastva said. “This field of investigation has garnered a lot of interest in recent years.”

White also will give a research seminar geared toward scientists and students at 10:45 a.m. in the TI Auditorium. The talk is titled “Coordination of Cellular Growth and Self-renewal Programs by Ras-like GTPases and the Exocyst.”

White holds the Grant A. Dove Chair for Research in Oncology and the Sherry Wigley Crow Cancer Research Endowed Chair, in honor of Robert Lewis Kirby, M.D., at UT Southwestern. His work focuses on uncovering the molecular mechanisms that control cell growth and differentiation. White’s research has contributed not only to a better understanding of basic cell biology and behavior, but also to cancer biology and the identification of possible drug targets.

“We chose Dr. White as our speaker because faculty, students and staff from various backgrounds are interested in cancer research and medicine,” said Jagmohan Hooda, graduate student and co-organizer of the event. “We hope that his work will inspire our students who are seeking lab experience or a future career in research.”

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].

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