Peter Agre and Aquaporin Water Channels

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Peter Agre
Courtesy of
Johns Hopkins University

'Peter Agre, MD received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2003 for his work with aquaporins, a family of water channel proteins found throughout nature and responsible for numerous physiological processes in humans.'1

'Dr. Agre received his BA in chemistry from Augsburg College in 1970, and his MD from Johns Hopkins in 1974. Following an Internal Medicine Residency at Case Western Reserve University Hospitals of Cleveland and a Hematology-Oncology Fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Dr. Agre returned to Johns Hopkins as a postdoctoral fellow in cell biology. Dr. Agre joined the faculty in 1984 and has spent most of his professional life at Hopkins' School of Medicine, leaving in 2005 to go to become Vice Chancellor for Science and Technology at Duke University Medical Center.'2

He became the director of the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute (JHMRI) in January, 2008.

'Agre will remain a professor of cell biology and medicine and a senior adviser to the chancellor for health affairs at Duke, where he will maintain a laboratory and continue some of his current duties. He also will lead development of a consortium of malaria researchers at JHMRI and Duke and in the Triangle region of North Carolina.'3

'Dr. Agre's research in red-blood-cell biochemistry led to the first known membrane defects in congenital hemolytic anemias (spherocytosis) and produced the first isolation of the Rh blood group antigens. In 1992, his laboratory became widely recognized for discovering the aquaporins, a family of water channel proteins found throughout nature and responsible for numerous physiological processes in humans—including kidney concentration, as well as secretion of spinal fluid, aqueous humor, tears, sweat, and release of glycerol from fat. Aquaporins have been implicated in multiple clinical disorders—including fluid retention, bedwetting, brain edema, cataracts, heat prostration, and obesity. Water transport in lower organisms, microbes, and plants also depend upon aquaporins.'2

1 Edited excerpts from Peter Agre, M.D.
2 Edited excerpts from  Director - Peter Agre, M.D.
3 Edited excerpts from  Peter Agre to Head Malaria Research Institute

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