Bruce Beutler ’76
University of California, San Diego alumnus Bruce Beutler, M.D., will return to his alma mater Nov. 8 to speak about his experiences as a 2011 Nobel laureate in Physiology or Medicine.
As part of “Reflections from a Nobel Laureate: An Evening with Bruce Beutler ’76,” he will discuss his award-winning immunology research, the next phases of his scientific discovery and the impact of his research on communities and lives around the globe. Beutler will also share experiences in receiving the Nobel Prize, which is given to those who “have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind,” and how UC San Diego helped shape his path to success. The event, slated for 6 p.m. in Beyster Auditorium, is free and open to the campus community and the public.
The world-renowned immunologist and geneticist graduated early from UC San Diego in 1976, after only two years and a quarter. He went on to attend medical school at the University of Chicago. Currently, Beutler is a regental professor and director of the Center for Genetics of Host Defense at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He also holds the Raymond and Ellen Willie Distinguished Chair in Cancer Research. Prior to moving to UT Southwestern in 2011, Beutler worked for over a decade at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla.
It was Beutler’s research discoveries in innate immunology that was recognized with a Nobel Prize. According to the prize committee, Beutler and his fellow award recipients received the honor because they “revolutionized our understanding of the immune system by discovering key principles for its activation… Their work has opened up new avenues for the development of prevention and therapy against infections, cancer, and inflammatory diseases.”
He later spearheaded the use of a technique called “forward genetics” to study genes used by the mammalian innate immune system to clear pathogens from the body. He is credited with the identification of the key receptors that inform the body when an infection is present. The same receptors also initiate inflammation and shock when an infection becomes widespread. Together with his colleagues at The Scripps Research Institute, he continued to analyze these receptors and pursued an ambitious search for all proteins that protect mammals against defined infections.
Jade Griffin, 858-822-5309, firstname.lastname@example.org