Paterson Lecture 2018

paterson 2018

The Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine held its annual Paterson Lecture on November 8, 2018.

Dr. Randy Schekman, Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkley, delivered the standing-room only 2018 Paterson Lecture.  Dr. Schekman is an internationally renowned scientist – most noted for his pioneering work for which he shared the 2013 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with Drs. James Rothman and Thomas Südhof for their ground-breaking work on cell membrane vesicle trafficking.  Dr. Schekman has received many other awards for his wonderful work, including the 1996 Gairdner Foundation International Award and the 2002 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award. 


To an appreciative and admiring audience, Dr. Schekman presented some of his laboratory’s recent work on RNA packaging in exosomes. Exosomes are vesicles released by cells and are emerging as biologically important means of cell communication.  Dr. Schekman’s group has developed a method to better isolate these exosomes from cells to examine their contents and function.  They found that some RNA molecules are hundreds or even thousands of times more concentrated in exosomes than in the cells.  In addition to this important discovery, Dr. Schekman shared some of the mechanisms he believes are important in concentrating RNA in exosomes.  Dr. Schekman also advocated for publicly accessible research, and encouraged young researchers at Western to publish in journals run by scholars and less in commercially-focused ones.

The 2018 Paterson Lecture was a great success.  Special thank you to Rachel Halaney, Mellonie Carnahan, Tracey Koning, Kathilyn Allewell, Cheryl Campbell and Susan Underhill for their hard work in organizing the Paterson Lecture.