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Institute for Molecular Medicine & Infectious Disease 2012 International Symposium

Bruce Beutler, MD

Bruce Beutler, MD

Bruce Beutler was born in 1957, in Chicago, IL, and grew up in southern California.  He received his undergraduate degree from UCSD in 1976 and his medical degree from the University of Chicago in 1981. After medical school, he completed two years of residency at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, studying internal medicine and neurology. He was a postdoctoral fellow and an assistant professor at the Rockefeller University (1983-1986). During those years, he isolated mouse tumor necrosis factor (TNF), and established that TNF acts as a key executor of the inflammatory response.

Returning to UT Southwestern in 1986 as an HHMI investigator, he designed a recombinant inhibitor of TNF that became widely used in clinical practice as Enbrel, or Etanercept.  Between 1993 and 1998, he used a classical genetic approach to identify the mammalian LPS receptor.  His discovery was recognized 13 years later by the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Moving to the Scripps Research Institute in 2000, Beutler developed the largest mouse mutagenesis program in the world, and applied a forward genetic approach to decipher the signaling pathways activated by TLRs. He also identified many other molecules with non-redundant function in the immune response.

Dr. Beutler returned to UT Southwestern a third time in 2011, and is currently a regental professor and director of the Center for Genetics of Host Defense. He also holds the Raymond and Ellen Willie Distinguished Chair in Cancer Research in honor of Laverne and Raymond Willie, Sr.

Prior to receiving the Nobel Prize, Dr. Beutler received the Shaw Prize (2011), the Albany Medical Center Prize (2009), the Frederik B. Bang Award (2008), the Balzan Prize (2007), the Gran Prix Charles-Leopold-Mayer (2006), the William B. Coley Award (2005), the Robert-Koch-Prize (2004), and other honors recognizing his many contributions to the field of innate immunity. In 2008 he was elected to both the National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine.

Dr. Beutler will be speaking about "How mammals sense infection" at this year's symposium.

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Students walking down the hall at the Institute for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Disease at Drexel University College of Medicine.