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Robert J Lefkowitz Biography

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Facts of Robert J Lefkowitz Biography

OccupationBiochemist, Physician
EthnicityWhite
ReligionJewish
Place of birthUnited States

Robert Joseph Lefkowitz is a Noble Prize winner American physician and biochemist. His best known for his innovation that revealed the inner workings of an important family G-protein-coupled receptors; which is sometimes called  seven-transmembrane domain receptors, 7TM receptors, heptahelical receptors, serpentine receptor, and G protein–linked receptors (GPLR).

Lefkowitz is currently an Investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute as well as a James B. Duke Professor of Medicine and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Duke University, North Carolina.

EARLY LIFE/CHILDHOOD/ EDUCATION

Robert Lefkowitz was born on 15 April 1943 in The Bronx, New York, the USA to Jewish parents Rose Lefkowitz and Max. His parents immigrated from Poland to the United Staes in the late 19th century.  

Lefkowitz attended the Bronx High School of Science and graduated in 1959. Soon, after graduation, he joined Columbia College where he studied chemistry. In 1962, she graduated with a bachelor's degree in chemistry and went on to study medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Shortly, after graduating with an M.D. Degree he worked as an intern and one-year general medicine residency at the College of Physician and Surgeons. In 1968, he moved to Maryland and worked at National Institutes of Health as Clinical and Research Associate until 1970.

CAREER

After completing his medical residency and research and clinical training in 1973, Robert Lefkowitz was named the Associate Professor of Medicine as well as  Assistant Professor of Biochemistry at the Duke University Medical Center. In 1977, received a promotion  to Professor of Medicine and in 1982 to James B. Duke Professor of Medicine at Duke University. He is also a Professor of Biochemistry and  Chemistry. He has been an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute since 1976 and was an Established Investigator of the American Heart Association from 1973 until 1976.

Robert  J Lefkowitz

Lefkowitz studies receptor biology and signal transduction and is most well known for his detailed characterizations of the sequence, structure, and function of the β-adrenergic and related receptors and for the discovery and characterization of the two families of proteins which regulate them, the G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) kinases and β-arrestins. Robert Lefkowitz made a groundbreaking contribution in the mid-1980s when he and his colleagues cloned the gene first for the β-adrenergic receptor, and then rapidly thereafter, for a total of 8 adrenergic receptors (receptors for adrenaline and noradrenaline). This led to the seminal discovery that all GPCRs (which include the β-adrenergic receptor) have a very similar molecular structure. The structure is defined by an amino acid sequence which weaves its way back and forth across the plasma membrane seven times. Today we know that about 1,000 receptors in the human body belong to this
same family.

The significance of this is that all of these receptors use the same basic mechanisms so that pharmaceutical researchers now understand how to effectively target the largest receptor family in the human body. Today, as many as 30 to 50 percent of all prescription drugs are designed to "fit" like keys into the similarly structured locks of Lefkowitz' receptors— everything from antihistamines to ulcer drugs to beta blockers that help relieve hypertension, angina, and coronary disease. Lefkowitz is among the most highly cited researchers in the fields of biology, biochemistry, pharmacology, toxicology, and clinical medicine according to Thomson of ISI.

PERSONAL LIFE

Robert J Lefkowitz is married twice; he has five children with his first wife, Arna Brandel: David (born- 1964); Larry (now Noah Jordan)(born- 1965); Cheryl (born- 1968); Mara (born 1971) and Joshua (born- 1977).  He has five grandchildren: Maya, Jonah, Madeleine, Samantha and Ethan. Lefkowitz married his second wife, Lynn Tilley in 1991.

Robert's family have a strong history of coronary artery disease, his father died at age 63, due to myocardial infarction and his mother suffered a myocardial infarction at age 57. He developed angina at age 50 and had quadruple bypass surgery in 1994. His parents support him throughout his career and they are his great source of love and pride.

ACHIEVEMENTS & NET WORTH

Robert Lefkowitz has been honored with numerous awards; he received John Jacob Abel Award in Pharmacology in 1978 and Gairdner Foundation International Award in 1988. He has been honored with Jessie Stevenson Kovalenko Medal in 2001 as well as  Foundation Lefoulon – Delalande Grand Prix for Science in 2003 and Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research in 2007. He earned National Medal of Science and The Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine, both in 2007. In 2009, he earned 'BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award', in the Biomedicine Category and Reaser each Achievements Awards from the American Heart Association. Lefkowitz shared a Nobel Prize in Chemistry, for the groundbreaking discovery of  G protein-coupled receptors, with Brian Kobilka in 2012.

Robert J Lefkowitz's net worth is not yet disclosed and it is under review. However, his salary is estimated to be $80, 000 dollars with $19, 999 stock awards and $23, 966 option awards.

Updated On Fri Sep 04 2015 Published On Mon Mar 16 2015 By rajan

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