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Inaugural Lecture: Prof Sonia Rocha - 'Molecular Oxygen in your cells, more than just energy'

'Molecular Oxygen in your cells, more than just energy'

Professor Sonia Rocha
Executive Dean of the Institute of Systems, Molecular & Integrative Biology

Date: Wednesday 11th December
Time: 17:30 for 18:00, drinks reception from 19:00
Venue: Lecture Theatre 3, Teaching Hub 502, Mount Pleasant (next to Guild)

Oxygen is essential for mammalian life. Although mostly associated with the generation of energy in cells, it has become apparent that molecular oxygen is involved in other important cellular processes. Reductions in oxygen supply to cells and organs give rise to a coordinated cellular response, called hypoxia. This response is required for the cell's ability to function in low oxygen environments and is involved in physiological processes such as embryo development but also pathological processes such as stroke, cancer and inflammatory diseases.

Professor Rocha's work has demonstrated that hypoxia and inflammation are closely connected and share a vast number of common features. Furthermore, hypoxia and inflammation often co-occur in many human diseases. Her research over the years has indicated that molecular oxygen is a potent signalling molecule, utilised by a class of enzymes called molecular dioxygenases. These enzymes control all aspects of gene expression. Using state-of-the-art technologies, the Rocha Group are determining what are the mechanisms controlling cellular responses in physiological and pathological processes elicited by hypoxia and inflammation. In addition, they aim to use the knowledge obtained for future therapeutic applications in human disease.

For catering purposes, please register online here. All welcome.

Louise Colley
Institute of Integrative Biology