Harvard scientist Brugge to give WISMAC lecture

By Amanda Siegfried 

Dr. Joan Brugge, chair of cell biology at Harvard Medical School, will speak on campus in February as the Ida M. Green Distinguished Visiting Professor Honoring Women in Science and Medicine. Each year UT Southwestern’s Women in Science and Medicine Advisory Committee (WISMAC) hosts a distinguished female scientist/physician, who visits campus for a two-day professorship. The visiting professor meets with individuals and various campus groups and presents a university lecture. 

Dr. Brugge is investigating normal processes that regulate cell proliferation, survival and migration in organisms, as well as how disruptions in these processes can lead to cancer.

Dr. Joan Brugge

Dr. Brugge’s public lecture, “Extracellular Matrix Regulation of Cell Survival and Metabolism,” will be held at 4 p.m. Feb. 3 in the Excellence in Education Foundation Auditorium in the Simmons/Hamon Biomedical Research Buildings (NB2.102).

Dr. Brugge earned her undergraduate degree in biology from Northwestern University and her doctorate in virology from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. During her postdoctoral training at the University of Colorado, she isolated the protein coded for by the viral and cellular forms of the src gene.

After holding faculty appointments at the State University of New York, Stony Brook, and the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Brugge left academia in 1992 to help launch ARIAD, a company that focuses on research aimed at developing new drugs that target signaling pathways in disease. She joined the Harvard faculty in 1997 and became chair in 2004.

A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine, Dr. Brugge has received numerous awards in recognition of her scientific accomplishments. Among these are a National Institutes of Health Merit Award, an American Cancer Society Research Professorship and the Senior Career Recognition Award from the American Society of Cell Biology.

WISMAC is an institutional committee composed of appointed representatives of the faculty, staff, fellows and the student body. Its goal is to promote representation and recognition for women in all campus activities, and to provide inspiration to junior faculty and trainees. The Southwestern Medical Foundation sponsors the distinguished visiting professorship, established in honor of Ida Green, the late wife of Texas Instruments co-founder Cecil H. Green. Mrs. Green was a great supporter of opening career paths for women in science and medicine and provided a major bequest to Southwestern Medical Foundation.