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ICCNS-SPRINGER Award 2012 Recipient

Professor Lester Lau

Pr. Lester Lau

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, University of Illinois Chicago (UIC)

Lester Lau received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Cornell University and was a Helen Hay Whitney Fellow at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He served as a faculty member at Northwestern University Medical School before moving to the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, where he is a Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics. He has received the Pew Scholars Award, the American Heart Association Established Investigator Award, the American Cancer Society Junior Faculty Award, and the University Scholar Award at the University of Illinois.

His laboratory has characterized various genes involved in growth control, including the nuclear receptor NUR77, the MAP kinase phosphatase MKP-1, the ribosome biogenesis protein BOP-1, and CCN1, the first member of the CCN family identified. He has established the matricellular nature of CCN proteins and their mechanisms of action through direct binding to integrin receptors. His laboratory has uncovered various CCN functions including cell adhesion and migration, angiogenesis, apoptosis, phagocytosis, and senescence, and demonstrated the biological significance of these functions in vivo using knockin and knockout mice. His recent research has dissected the role of CCN1 in integrating the functions of diverse cell types in inflammation, wound healing, and tissue regeneration in the skin, liver, and intestinal epithelium.

Lester Lau has long been committed to advancing research and scientific interest in the CCN field. He has been actively involved in the ICCNS since its inception and has previously served as the Head of the ICCNS Council and President of the Scientific Advisory Board.