Professor Christopher Dobson, of the University of Cambridge, delivered the annual Biochemistry Alumni Lecture on 30 August, speaking about breakthroughs that are bringing us closer to understanding the cause of neurodegenerative diseases.

The lecture, which took place at UQ's St Lucia Campus, was attended by staff, students and friends of the School of Chemistry & Molecular Biosciences and by UQ graduates of Biochemistry.

Professor Dobson's lecture was entitled "Life on the Edge: The Generic Nature of Protein Misfolding Disorders", and it emphasised the broad-ranging effects of the failure of proteins to fold, or to remain correctly folded.

"One particularly important group of diseases is associated with the aggregation of misfolded proteins into remarkable threadlike structures known as amyloid fibrils and includes disorders ranging from Alzheimer’s disease to late-onset diabetes, conditions that are becoming increasingly common in our aging populations" said Professor Dobson.

Some of the more than 110 people who attended the lecture commented afterwards that a number of Professor Dobson’s group’s breakthroughs were the result of curiosity-driven research rather than the testing of a particular hypothesis.

Professor Dobson is the latest in a long line of distinguished international guests to deliver the annual Biochemistry Alumni Lecture.

It was initiated in 1990 as a means of bringing together past and present students and staff of the discipline. For more details, visit the Biochemistry Alumni Lecture page.

Picture (L to R): Professor John de Jersey, former Head of the Department of Biochemistry, Professor Dobson, Professor Susan Hamilton, President of the Academic Board and Professor Alastair McEwan, Head of School.

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