Drusilla Burns, Ph.D., Chief of the Laboratory of Respiratory and Special Pathogens at the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research in the Food and Drug Administration, is this year’s speaker for the Karin Ippen-Ihler Lecture in Microbial Genetics, presented by the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology in the College of Medicine at The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center. Dr. Burns’ lecture, on Monday, May 5 at 4 p.m. in the Samuel H. Black Lecture Hall (Lecture Hall II) of the Joe H. Reynolds Medical Building at Texas A&M, will be on “Pertussis Toxin: Biogenesis and Secretion from Bordetella pertussis.” The lecture is open to the public.
Dr. Burns’ research focus is on Bordetella pertussis, the causative agent of whooping cough. In particular, she studies the mechanism by which this large protein toxin is secreted from B. pertussis as well as the architecture of the transport apparatus that is used in this process.
The Ippen-Ihler Lectureship was established in memory of Karin Ippen-Ihler, Ph.D., professor of Medical Microbiology and Immunology and professor of the intercollegiate Graduate Faculty of Genetics. She earned her Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of California at Berkley in 1967 and B.A. in chemistry from Wellesley College in 1963. Dr. Ihler joined the College of Medicine in 1977 as an associate professor.
The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center serves the state as a distributed, statewide health science center which has a presence in communities throughout Texas. The health science center includes five components which are dedicated to meeting the highest standards in health education, outreach and research: the College of Medicine, Baylor College of Dentistry, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the Institute of Biosciences and Technology and the School of Rural Public Health.

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