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Title
2017 Nobel Prize Winner in Physiology/Medicine To Discuss Breakthrough Research During NYU Winthrop's Neonatology's 25th Jubilee Conference
Date
February 27, 2018
Article

Dr. Michael W. Young Identified the Genes that Helped Understand the Human Biological Clock, Leading to Profound Insight into Sleep Disorders, Jet Lag, Night Shifts and Depressive Disorders

Mineola, NY – NYU Winthrop Hospital today announced that biologist Michael W. Young, Ph.D., who was awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine together with fellow researchers Jeffrey C. Hall and Michael Rosbash, will be the keynote speaker at the Hospital’s Neonatology 25th Anniversary Jubilee Conference to be held at the Garden City Hotel on Long Island on March 8, 2018. Dr. Young will discuss his 40-year journey in research that led to the discovery of genes that help regulate the biological clock, and how those discoveries helped to explain how other multicellular organisms – plants, animals, and humans – adapt their biological rhythm to be synchronized with the Earth’s revolutions. The Nobel Laureates’ work has profound implications for understanding human sleep disorders, the mechanisms of jet lag, the challenges of working on the night shift, and depressive disorders.

“As a research and teaching Hospital, we are so inspired by Dr. Michael Young’s journey of discovery, which has laid a foundation for additional breakthroughs in science and medicine,” said Nazeeh Hanna, M.D., Chief of the Division of Neonatology at NYU Winthrop Hospital and the conference leader hosting Dr. Young. “Likewise, we hope that our esteemed neonatal conference panelists will also inspire and that their research will someday lead to improved life quality for preterm infants. As Dr. Young has shown, research may take decades, but the rewards are such that it may improve our health and well-being and that of future generations.”

Dr. Michael Young is a professor at New York City-based Rockefeller University, one of the most prestigious institutes for biomedical research in the world. Together with his fellow Nobel Laureates, they isolated several genes that control the normal daily biological clock of the fruit fly and showed how these genes cause certain proteins to accumulate during the night and then degrade during the day when exposed to sunlight. By learning how this inner clock works, scientists can now better understand how it regulates critical functions such as behavior, hormone levels, sleep, body temperature, and metabolism. Researchers can also improve their understanding of how our well-being is affected when there is a temporary mismatch between our external environment and this internal biological clock, such as when traveling across time zones and suffering jet lag.

“This type of research often leads to discoveries that no one imagined, so it’s vitally important that the path of research be open to all possibilities,” said Dr. Young. “We pursue clues in the most obscure of areas and follow them where they lead. The same is most assuredly true for research in neonatology.”

Dr. Young will speak at the Neonatal conference at 9:50 a.m. on March 8th and will then serve as presenter for NYU Winthrop awards recognizing the best innovative research in neonatology.

Other distinguished speakers and their topics are as follows:

  • Wally Carlo, MD, from University of Alabama at Birmingham, “Oxygen Saturation Targeting”
  • Jonathan Davis, MD, from The Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center, “Antenatal Factors and Neonatal Outcome”
  • Jason Fisher, MD, of Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone, “State of the Art Management of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia”
  • Denise Suttner, MD, from Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego, “Effects of Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension”
  • Chantal Lau, D., of Baylor College of Medicine, “Novel Approaches to Transition to Oral Feeding”
  • Pradeep Mally, MD, of NYU Langone Medical Center/Bellevue Hospital Center, “Late Pre-Term and Early-Term Infants”

Dr. Nazeeh Hanna will provide opening remarks. More than 250 physicians, neonatal intensive-care unit staff and researchers, primarily from the tri-state area, are expected to attend. The Garden City Hotel is located in Garden City on Long Island. For more information visit: IssuesInNeonatology.org.