Radu Aricescu, Group Leader in the LMB’s Neurobiology Division, will deliver the Ulf von Euler Lecture at the Karolinska Institutet on 6th October 2023. In his talk, entitled “The wide wild world of human GABAa receptors”, Radu will share insights into his latest research on the structural biology of inhibitory neurotransmission.
The Ulf von Euler Lecture is an official annual named lecture of Karolinska Institutet. It is given in honour of Ulf von Euler, a prominent neuroscientist who made several notable discoveries, including the organic chemical noradrenaline which functions as both a neurotransmitter and a hormone (for which he received the 1970 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine), the neuropeptide substance P, and the lipid compound prostaglandin. The lecture was instituted by decision of the faculty at KI upon an initiative taken by Ulf von Euler’s former students at the time of his death in 1983.
Radu commented: “This award recognizes the work and creativity of our lab members, past and present, for which I am very grateful! We are half way through a most exciting adventure, developing new technologies to understand the fundamental mechanisms of neurotransmission and to put this knowledge to good use.”
Radu is a structural neurobiologist who aims to elucidate fundamental principles of neuronal synapse formation, function and remodelling, in mechanistic terms. He solved the first structure of a receptor for gamma-aminobutyric acid, the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the vertebrate nervous system. His research group continues to explore the vast molecular diversity of neurotransmitter receptors and employ structural knowledge to design synthetic molecules for the engineering and repair of neuronal circuits.
Radu joined the LMB in 2017, before which he was based at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford. He completed a PhD in Developmental Neurobiology at the Institute of Child Health, Neural Development Unit at University College London with Andrew Stoker and was a postdoctoral researcher at Cancer Research UK in the Receptor Structure Research Group.
He joins a long list of previous Ulf von Euler lectures, including LMB alumnae Susan S. Taylor, who delivered her lecture “Lessons learned from PKA: From molecules to cells” in 2018.