HEPATITIS B FOUNDATION &
THE BARUCH S. BLUMBERG INSTITUTE
DISTINGUISHED SPEAKER SEMINAR
Molecular basis of arsenic treatement for acute promyelocytic leukemia
Professor Ron Hay
Professor Hay was born and educated in Dundee and studied for a degree in Biochemistry at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh (1971-1975). He studied for his PhD at the Medical Research Council Virology Unit in Glasgow under the supervision of Dr. John Hay working on replication of herpes simplex virus DNA (1975-1979). A Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Cancer Fund postdoctoral fellowship award allowed him to work in the laboratory of Dr. Mel DePamphilis at Harvard Medical School where he determined the location and structure of RNA primers that initiate DNA replication at the Simian Virus 40 origin of replication (1979-1982). Returning to the MRC Virology Unit he established his independent laboratory working on the initiation of adenovirus DNA replication (1982-1985). Prof. Hay moved to the University of St. Andrews and became Chair in Molecular Biology and Deputy Director of the Centre for Biomolecular Sciences. In October 2005 he became Chair of Molecular Biology in the University of Dundee and is part of the Centre for Gene Regulation and Expression. Prof. Hay’s research has established conjugation with the Small Ubiquitin-like Modifier (SUMO) as an important regulatory mechanism in eukaryotes. A key role for SUMO and ubiquitin was uncovered in mediating the effects of arsenic when it is used therapeutically in the treatment of Acute Promyelocytic Leukaemia. Recently determination of the structure of a RING E3 ligase and ubiquitin-loaded E2 complex primed for catalysis has revealed the mechanism of ubiquitin modification. Prof. Hay is a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator and a fellow of the Royal Society, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Academy of Medical Sciences, Academia Europaea and is a member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation. In 2012 he was awarded the Novartis Medal and Prize of the Biochemical Society.
Professor Ron Hay, FRS FRSE FMedSci