PhD, William D. Willis, Jr, MD, PhD Memorial Lecture, Lewin Lab, Germany
Gary Lewin, PhD is manx and was born and raised on the Isle of Man and then studied Pharmacology and Physiology at the University of Sheffield. He completed his PhD studies in Stephen McMahon’s lab in London before moving to Stony Brook, New York to work with Lorne Mendell. Gary Lewin has had a long standing interest in the development, plasticity and function of the somatosensory system. With Lorne Mendell he discovered a role for nerve growth factor (NGF) in chronic inflammatory pain which has inspired development of humanized antibodies directed against NGF, drugs that may soon reach clinical application. After working at the Max-Planck Institute in Munich, Gary established his own research program at the Max-Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin (MDC). At the MDC Gary’s group pioneered the study of touch transduction and discovered the first mammalian proteins necessary for normal touch sensation. In the last 10 years Gary Lewin’s group has continued to elucidate the role of novel proteins in touch and pain transduction. In addition, starting more than 15 years ago his group started to exploit the extreme physiology of African naked mole-rats to discover molecular tricks to resist hypoxia, remain healthy in old age and suppress pain.