Plenary Session I
Dr.Ferid Murad, M.D.,
Nobel Prize Winner in Physiology or Medicine
Professor and Chairman
Department of Integrative Biology and Pharmacology
University of Texas Medical School-Houston, USA
TOPIC - Nitric Oxide
To Viagra and Numerous Biotech Companies and Products in Clinical
Development and Disease Markets.
Pleanary Session Address I: Dr. Murad’s
research has led to over 25 venture backed biotechnology companies
in the past decade and numerous products in the market, including
the infamous drug “VIAGRA”.
There are even more products in clinical trials to
treat a variety of diseases. Many of these projects represent excellent
investment opportunities for private and angel investors and venture
capitalists. The talk will cover drug candidates currently developed
for clinical trials by several large pharma and biotech companies.
This will lead to a number of possible disease applications.
Winner, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1998
Dr. Ferid Murad is Professor and Chairman of the School
of Medicine Department of Integrative Biology and Pharmacology at
the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. He is
also the Director of the Institute of Molecular Medicine for the
Prevention of Human Diseases and the John S. Dunn, Sr., Distinguished
Chair in Physiology and Medicine. In 1998 he was a co-recipient
of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work with nitric
oxide as a signaling molecule in the cardiovascular system.
Dr. Murad and Robert F. Furchgott and Louis J. Ignarro,
co-recipients of the award, discovered how this colorless gas can
be used to signal blood vessels to relax and widen, thus lowering
blood pressure. Nitric oxide is now recognized to have applications
ranging from treatment for heart disease and shock, to reducing
the possibility of pulmonary hypertension in premature babies.
His research focuses on the formation, metabolism,
and function of nitric oxide and cyclic GMP in various cellular
signaling processes. His work with nitric oxide began more than
20 years ago when he was at the University of Virginia School of
Medicine. Despite initial disbelief from fellow researchers, Dr.
Murad persevered in his conviction that the short-lived gas was
crucially important to the body's signaling system. In the 1970s,
Dr. Murad discovered that nitroglycerin relieves chest pain in heart
patients by releasing nitric oxide. By 1992, Science magazine had
named NO its "molecule of the year".
Dr. Murad has been active in both academic medicine
and industry throughout his distinguished career. As the former
president and Chief Executive Officer of Molecular Geriatrics Corporation,
a biopharmacological company active in the field of neuro-degenerative
diseases, he believes that collaboration and team work between medicine
and industry is vital.
Among his many other awards and honors, Dr. Murad
received the prestigious Albert and Mary Lasker Basic Medical Research
Award in 1996, the American Heart Association Ciba Award in 1988,
and the Baxter Award for Distinguished Research in the Biomedical
Sciences from the Association of American Medical Colleges in 2000.
He is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a member
of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences,
and Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Widely published, Dr. Murad’s work has appeared
in publications throughout the world.