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UMass cell biologist to present the Inaugural Ghaleb '79 and Rima Daouk Visiting Scientist lecture

Thoru Pederson '63, G '68 named Ghaleb '79 and Rima Daouk Visiting Scientist

Sep 22, 2011 — Article by: Judy Holmes

Thoru Pederson head shot

Thoru Pederson '63, G '68, Vitold Arnett Professor of Cell Biology and associate vice provost for research, University of Massachusetts Medical School

The Department of Biology in Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences presents two lectures by alumnus Thoru Pederson ’63, G ’68, the Inaugural Ghaleb ’79 and Rima Daouk Visiting Scientist. Both are free and open to the public. Parking is available in Syracuse University’s paid lots.

Pederson will present “Alfred Nobel and Those Prizes: Elitism or Science for the Public?” at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19 in the Life Sciences Complex Auditorium, Room 001. He will also present “Entering the Post-Modern Era of Nuclear Organization and Function,” at 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 20 in the Life Sciences Complex Lundgren Room, 106. The Visiting Scientist lecture series was made possible by a generous endowment from Ghaleb ’79 and Rima Daouk, who reside in Massachusetts.

Pederson is the Vitold Arnett Professor of Cell Biology and associate vice provost for research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He is an expert on RNA, the material that both transmits and regulates the information encoded in DNA in the cell nucleus. His research seeks to understand how certain proteins combine with RNA to produce distinctive cellular machines that mediate the expression and control of genetic information.

Pederson writes and lectures widely on biomedical science for lay audiences. He has been active in teaching, in developing K-12 science education policies, and in corporate biotechnology initiatives. He was a co-founder of Hybridon, Inc, an RNA-based biotechnology company and has served on several scientific advisory boards. He is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Microbiology, and the Royal Microscopy Society. He received the 2009 Wilhelm Bernhard Medal for distinguished research in cell biology and in 2011 was awarded the Medal of Charles University, Prague. Pederson holds a B.A. in zoology and a Ph.D. in cell biology, both from the Department of Biology in SU’s College of Arts and Sciences.

About Ghaleb Daouk ’79 and Rima Kaddurah-Daouk

Ghaleb Daouk, ’79 is a pediatric nephrology consultant at Children’s Hospital in Boston and assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. After graduating from SU’s College of Arts and Sciences magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in biology, Daouk earned his MD degree from the American University of Beirut, followed by a master’s degree in management of technology from the MIT Sloan School of Management. As a post-doctoral research fellow of the American Heart Association at MIT, he cloned the gene for the brain creatine kinase. The discovery lead him to co-found, with his wife Rima Kaddurah-Daouk, the biotechnology company Avicena, currently located in Palo Alto, Calif. He completed his clinical speciality training in pedicatircs and nephrology at Harvard's Massachusetts General Hospital. Ghaleb is an active member of The College’s Board of Visitors and chair of the Biology Alumni Board. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Pediatrics and a member of several medical societies.

Rima Kaddurah-Daouk holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the American University in Beirut and was a post-doctoral fellow with Nobel Prize Laureate Hamilton Smith at Johns Hopkins Medical School. She is currently an associate professor at Duke University Medical School, where she has several National Institutes of Health-funded research grants. Widely known for her work on cellular energy metabolism and, as a pioneer in the field of metabolomics, Rima holds more than 60 patents and has authored nearly 55 scientific publications. She is the founding president of the Metabolomics Society, co-founder of Avicena, and co-founder of Metabolon Inc., a leading biotechnology company in metabolomics located in Research Triangle Park, Raleigh, N.C.

Ghaleb and Rima live in Boston and have two children pursuing graduate education.

Contact Information

Judy Holmes