Bruce Beutler, MD, Regental Professor and director of the Center for the Genetics of Host Defense at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, will deliver the next presentation in the 2018 Senior Vice Chancellor’s Laureate Lecture Series, a yearlong program featuring top biomedical researchers in their fields. Beutler’s talk, “Studying Immunity by Randomly Inactivating Genes in Mice,” will be delivered at 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 14, in Scaife Hall, Lecture Room 6 [Add to Calendar]. This seminar series is open to the public, including all interested University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University faculty, students, and staff. Arthur S. Levine, MD, Pitt’s senior vice chancellor for the health sciences and John and Gertrude Petersen Dean of Medicine, will introduce Beutler and lead the discussion following the lecture.

Beutler is widely recognized for his molecular and genetic research on inflammation and innate immunity.  His research has enhanced our fundamental understanding of how cell receptors detect microorganisms and activate innate immunity. Beutler and colleagues discovered a family of receptors that enable mammals to sense the presence of infections, triggering a powerful inflammatory response. These findings earned him a share of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Early in his career, Beutler isolated mouse tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and was the first to recognize TNF as a key executor of the inflammatory response. He and colleagues designed recombinant inhibitors of TNF that are used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory diseases. He later conducted important research to decipher the signaling pathways activated by Toll-like receptors (TLRs). His work has laid the groundwork for the discovery of many immune system components.  

Beutler received his BA in biology from the University of California, San Diego, and his MD from the University of Chicago. He completed a medical internship and neurology residency at the UT Southwestern Medical Center followed by a fellowship at the Rockefeller University. His many honors and awards include the Balzan Prize, the Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research, the Shaw Prize, a MERIT Award from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, and a Distinguished Service Award from the University of Chicago. He is an elected member of numerous honorary societies, including the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences, the Association of American Physicians, and the American Society for Clinical Investigation.