Dennis J. Thiele, November 10

SciLifeLab The Svedberg seminar series

Monday, November 10


Dennis J. Thiele

Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology and Department of Biochemistry, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina, USA

Dennis J. Thiele is the George Barth Geller Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, and Biochemistry, at the Duke University School of Medicine. Professor Thiele’s laboratory has a longstanding interest in two areas: In one area, the Thiele lab investigates the mechanisms by which cells sense and respond to proteotoxic stress through Heat Shock Transcription Factors in yeast, mice, cell culture and disease tissue. In another research area Thiele and colleagues investigate the mechanisms underlying copper transport and metabolism in mammals and in human fungal pathogens at the host-pathogen axis.

Heat Shock Transcription Factors: From Chemical Biology to Structural Biology to Neurodegenerative Disease Therapeutics

Proteotoxic stress induces protein misfolding and aggregation, leading to cellular dysfunction and apoptosis. Heat Shock Transcription Factor 1 (HSF1) is a central proteotoxic stress-responsive transcription factor that activates the expression of genes encoding proteins that function in folding and quality control, anti-apoptotic roles, metabolism and a wide range of stress-protective functions. Protein misfolding is the biochemical basis for many proteopathies including Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s Disease and Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis, and studies suggest that HSF1 activation could have therapeutic effacy in these and other neurodegenerative diseases. This presentation will summarize the biology of the HSF1 protein misfolding response, structural biology approaches to understand the specificity of HSFs and chemical biology applications toward the activation of HSF1 in neurodegenerative disease therapy.

More information about Dennis J. Thiele´s research

Host: Helena Öhrvik