PHILADELPHIA — Nobel Laureate Peter Agre, MD, professor and director of the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute, Bloomberg School of Public Health, will deliver the address at the Perelman School of Medicine's commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 13, 2012 in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.
Dr. Agre's research in red-blood-cell biochemistry led to the first known membrane defects in congenital hemolytic anemias (spherocytosis) and produced the first isolation of the Rh blood group antigens. In 1992, his laboratory became widely recognized for discovering the aquaporins, a family of water channel proteins found throughout nature and responsible for numerous physiological processes in humans' including kidney concentration, as well as secretion of spinal fluid, aqueous humor, tears, sweat, and release of glycerol from fat. Aquaporins have been implicated in multiple clinical disorders - including fluid retention, bedwetting, brain edema, cataracts, heat prostration, and obesity. Water transport in lower organisms, microbes, and plants also depend upon aquaporins. For this work, Dr. Agre shared the 2003 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Roderick MacKinnon of Rockefeller University.
Dr. Agre received his medical degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 1974. In 1981, after post-graduate medical training and a fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Agre returned to Hopkins, where he progressed through the ranks of the departments of Medicine and Cell Biology. In 1993, he became a professor in the department of biological chemistry at the School of Medicine. In 2005, he joined Duke University Medical Center as Vice Chancellor for Science and Technology.
He was elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences in 2000 and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003. He holds two U.S. patents on the isolation, cloning and expression of aquaporins 1 and 5 and is the principal investigator on four current National Institutes of Health grants.
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