"Elucidating the mechanism of neurotransmitter release"
By Josep Rizo, PhD, Professor Dept. Biophysics, Biochemistry and Pharmacology, Virginia Lazenby O'Hara Chair in Biochemistry UT Shouthwestern Me
About: Dr. Josep Rizo is a Professor in Biochemistry at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, and he serves as the Chair of the Molecular Biophysics graduate program. Dr. Rizo received two B.Sc. degrees in Chemistry and Physics, and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Barcelona. He established his independent group at UT Southwestern in 1995, where the main focus of his research has been the study of the mechanisms of neurotransmitter release and intracellular membrane fusion. His research has illuminated the functions of two protein groups: i) components of the universal membrane fusion machinery such as munc18-1, Rab3, and the SNARE proteins syntaxin 1, SNAP-25 and synaptobrevin; and ii) proteins with specialized roles in release, such as synaptotagmin 1, complexin, munc13 and RIM. A key aspect of his current efforts is the development of methodologies to analyze in detail protein-protein interactions on lipid bilayers. His work is performed in close collaboration with the laboratories of Thomas Sudhof and Christian Rosenmund, where mouse genetics and electrophysiology are being applied to study effects on synaptic transmission and presynaptic plasticity. He has received numerous awards and honors, including the Narcís Monturiol Scientific Award from the Generalitat de Catalunya (2015)."
Place: Aula Magna de la Facultat de Medicina, UB (c/Casanova 143)