OHSU Researcher Jay Nelson, Ph.D., to Address Nobel Assembly

03/09/00    Portland, Ore.

Jay Nelson, Ph.D., Invited to Lecture about Vascular Disease Discovery at the Karolinska Institute

On March 16, Oregon Health Sciences University researcher Jay Nelson, Ph.D., will address faculty at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. The institute is internationally recognized for awarding the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine. Attendees will include members of the Nobel Assembly, a faculty board that chooses the Nobel Prize winner. Nelson's appearance is part of a lecture series featuring prominent researchers who have recently announced developments of great relevance to biomedical research. Nelson serves as professor of molecular microbiology and immunology in OHSU's School of Medicine. He's also director of OHSU's new Vaccine and Gene Therapy Center currently being built in Hillsboro.

The topic of Nelson's speech will be his lab's discovery of a genetic link between vascular disease and a common herpes virus. Nelson's research team connected the human cytomegalovirus to the development of atherosclerosis and other vascular diseases in organ transplant recipients, and in patients who have undergone balloon angioplasty for clogged arteries. Scientists found that a gene from the virus stimulates smooth muscle cells to migrate to areas of inflammation in these patients. The research is published in the Nov. 24, 1999, issue of the journal Cell.

Nelson is looking forward to the opportunity to travel to Sweden and address the internationally respected audience. "Over the years, I have received many speaking invitations," said Nelson. "However, this is a most prestigious invitation and I consider the opportunity a great honor."

Since 1895, the Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm has had the responsibility of awarding the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine. The assembly is made up of 50 elected members from the university's medical faculty. The prize is awarded each year during a ceremony in Stockholm on Dec. 10.

Editors: Nelson will be available for interviews on Friday, March 10. He will depart for Stockholm, Sweden on March 11.
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