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George Witman Honored

George Witman, PhD
George Witman, PhD

The distinguished career and scientific achievements of George B. Witman, PhD, professor emeritus of radiology and inaugural holder of the George F. Booth Chair in the Basic Sciences from 1999 to 2020, was celebrated at a virtual scientific symposium honoring him upon his retirement. The event was Wednesday, January 20, from 1 to 5 p.m. The agenda included talks focused on Dr. Witman’s areas of expertise in cilia and cilia-associated diseases.

Witman is an international leader in the field of cell motility. His lab, which he continues to run, has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health for investigations of the molecular basis for diseases involving cilia and flagella. These tiny, hair-like structures found throughout the human body function to produce force and sense the environment. Ciliary defects cause numerous human diseases including respiratory disease, male infertility, polycystic kidney disease, blindness and a variety of congenital birth defects.

Witman pioneered the application of biochemical and molecular genetic approaches to the study of cilia. Throughout his career, he used these approaches to make groundbreaking insights to define the molecular composition of cilia and the function of ciliary substructures.

“George’s work had a tremendous impact on the field and led to our current understanding of the importance of cilia in human health,” said Gregory Pazour, PhD, professor of molecular medicine.

Read full article in UMassMed News