Professor Peter Agre, M.D., of Johns Hopkins University, visited Sharif University of Technology (SUT) on Sunday, June 10th, 2012, and gave a presentation on Molecular Channels Through the Cell Wall, a topic related to the Nobel Prize in Chemistry he shared with professor MacKinnon in 2003. Over 500 faculty, alumni, and students attended this presentation at Jaber Hayan Hall at Chemistry Department of SUT. Following his presentation, Professor Agre was awarded the SUT Medal of Honor by Professor Rusta Azad, President of Sharif University.
Dr. Agre received his B.A. in chemistry from Augsburg College in 1970, and his M.D. from Johns Hopkins in 1974. Following an Internal Medicine Residency at Case Western Reserve University Hospitals of Cleveland and a Hematology-Oncology Fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Dr. Agre returned to Johns Hopkins as a postdoctoral fellow in cell biology. Dr. Agre joined the faculty in 1984 and has spent most of his professional life at Hopkins' School of Medicine, leaving in 2005 to go to become Vice Chancellor for Science and Technology at Duke University Medical Center. His return to Hopkins and JHMRI in 2008 gives Dr. Agre the opportunity to concentrate on an area in which he has always been interested -- the problem of disease in the developing world.
Dr. Agre's research in red-blood-cell biochemistry led to the first known membrane defects in congenital hemolytic anemias (spherocytosis) and produced the first isolation of the Rh blood group antigens. In 1992, his laboratory became widely recognized for discovering the aquaporins, a family of water channel proteins found throughout nature and responsible for numerous physiological processes in humansundefined including kidney concentration, as well as secretion of spinal fluid, aqueous humor, tears, sweat, and release of glycerol from fat. Aquaporins have been implicated in multiple clinical disorders -- including fluid retention, bedwetting, brain edema, cataracts, heat prostration, and obesity. Water transport in lower organisms, microbes, and plants also depend upon aquaporins. For this work, Dr. Agre shared the 2003 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Roderick MacKinnon of Rockefeller University.