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Kansas State University

The Rudy Clarenburg Lecture Series

The 2012 lecture series featured:

Charles O. Elson III, M.D.
Professor of Medicine and Microbiology
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Dr. Elson will present a lecture:
September 20, 2012 at 3:30 p.m.
“Maintaining Immunologic Peace with Microbiota”

The seminar will be held in the Mara Conference Center, Trotter Hall, College of Veterinary Medicine

Charles O. ElsonDr. Charles O. Elson, M.D., is the Basil I. Hirschowitz Chair of Gastroenterology, Professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology and a professor in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He received his M.D. from Washington University in St. Louis, trained in Internal Medicine at New York Hospital/Cornell, then did his Gastroenterology fellowship at the University of Chicago. After doing full-time research in immunology at N.I.H., he joined the Faculty of the Division of Gastroenterology at the Medical College of Virginia. He moved to the University of Alabama at Birmingham to become the Director of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, and subsequently served as Vice-Chair for Research in the Department of Medicine. He holds the Basil I. Hirschowitz Chair in Gastroenterology and is an active consultant in immune-mediated intestinal disorders.

The author of numerous peer-reviewed manuscripts, reviews, and book chapters, Dr. Elson has held major positions in national organizations, and has served on a number of advisory boards, including the Advisory Council of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

He has been elected to many of the most outstanding professional societies in the field of academic medicine, and has a long history of service to the Society for Mucosal Immunology for which he is a co-founder and past president.

The central focus of the Elson laboratory is on the regulation of mucosal immune responses, particularly the mucosal immune response to the microbiota, which represent the largest mass of antigen encountered by the immune system. The cellular and molecular mechanisms that maintain mucosal immune homeostasis are being defined. When these mechanisms fail, pathogenic effector T cells are generated that result in colitis. Dr Elson and co-workers have cloned a set of immunodominant antigens of the microbiota that stimulate such pathogenic T cells and result in inflammatory bowel disease. Among these cloned antigens, previously unknown bacterial flagellins have emerged as a major cluster. Seroreactivity to these flagellins is found in multiple experimental models of colitis in mice and in half of patients with Crohn’s disease. These antigens drive a newly described CD4 T cell effector subset making IL-17 (Th17) which appears to be responsible for disease progression. A T cell receptor transgenic mouse reactive to the flagellins has been generated and is being used to study the innate and adaptive immune response to microbiota antigens. A second major effort is in the identification of T reg cells in the intestine that recognize microbial antigens and maintain homeostasis. The mechanisms whereby such cells are induced are being defined and the application of these cells to prevent or treat intestinal inflammation are being tested.

We appreciate that Dr. Elson will present the Dr. Rudolf Clarenburg Lectureship in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University. We hope that you will attend his lecture.


Former Clarenburg Lecturers

2011 Dr. Scott T. Brady
2010 Dr. Jochen Schacht
2009 Dr. Casey T. Weaver
2008 Dr. Colin G. Nichols
2008 Dr. Robert J. Genco
2007 Dr. Peter Agre
2007 Dr. William B. Guggino
2006 Dr. Mark A. Knepper
2006 Dr. Avril Somlyo
2004 Dr. Jim Riviere
2003 Dr. Jeanne M. Nerbonne
2002 Dr. Michael Welsh
2002 Dr. Gerald DiBona
2001 Dr. George A. Brooks
1999 Dr. Arthur "Buzz" Brown
1998 Dr. Clara Franzini-Armstrong
1998 Dr. Gordon Mitchell
1997 Dr. Kim Johnson
1997 Dr. Larry Sinoway