Evolution has enabled us to achieve wonderful things, but what happens when it works against us? The 2013 Darwin Day lecture focuses on the emergence of drug resistance and how new medicines are being developed with molecular evolution in mind.
Chaired by Professor Richard Dawkins, the lecture will be presented by Sir Tom Blundell, Professor Emeritus and Director of Research, Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge on The emergence of drug resistance: Molecular evolution and new medicines for cancer and tuberculosis.
Speaking about the content of the lecture, Sir Tom said, "Over the past fifty years our knowledge of the evolution of proteins in living cells has been mapped in terms of molecular architecture and amino acid sequence. We have begun to learn that many accepted mutations are selectively neutral but others appear to be selectively advantageous to the organism by optimising stability, activity and interactions at the molecular and cellular levels. More recently second generation methods of gene sequencing are allowing us to follow the evolution and emergence of resistance as tumours escape the restraints of tissue function and as pathogens such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis and HIV evade the immune response of the host. To understand this is essential to the design of new medicines. I will discuss work in my laboratory funded by the Wellcome Trust on cancer and by the Gates Foundation on tuberculosis. The reality of evolution will take me to the Cambridge Science Park, to Astex the company I co-founded to work on cancer medicines, and to collaborations with India and Southern Africa on tuberculosis where many lives are impacted by HIV and TB."
Date: Tuesday 12 February 2013
Time: 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Venue: Congress Hall, Congress Centre, 28 Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3LS
Tickets: £15 general; £8 members and students
More information: www.humanism.org.uk/darwinday
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About the British Humanist Association
The British Humanist Association is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. It promotes a secular state and equal treatment in law and policy of everyone, regardless of religion or belief.