Ingraham to give Biochemistry’s 2019 Steenbock Lectures in December

Holly IngrahamHolly Ingraham of the University of California, San Francisco will give the 2019 UW–Madison Department of Biochemistry Steenbock Lectures in early December. All members of the campus community are invited to attend these lectures and learn from this pioneer in understanding multiple areas of endocrine signaling.

Ingraham is known for both her research and being a leader of diversity in STEM initiatives. She investigates how multiple organs communicate energy demand and energy expenditure by regulating hunger, nutrient absorption, and physiological development. She is a leader in neuroendocrine regulation, studying proteins called nuclear receptors, such as the estrogen receptor that is activated by the sex hormone estrogen.

The work in the Ingraham lab has uncovered novel insight into the prevalence of osteoporosis in women and the molecular regulation of this disease. Her group was the first to observe that estrogen signaling in the medial basal hypothalamus — a center of the brain that regulates body temperature, hunger, and energy homeostasis — is important for regulating bone density. Other projects in the Ingraham lab functionally characterize other nuclear receptors and their role in fatty liver disease and inflammatory bowel disease.

“I chose to invite Holly Ingraham for the Steenbock Lecture because she is a scientist I greatly admire and would like to emulate,” says biochemistry assistant professor Judith Simcox, who is the faculty host for the seminar. “The very nature of her work shows she is a fearless researcher willing to explore the molecular communication of multiple organs in disease states and a leader building a vision for what she wants science to be in the future.”

Simcox adds that Ingraham is the leader of one of the most transformative diversity in STEM programs in the country, called the Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award (IRACDA) Program at UCSF. It brings in a diverse community of postdocs and gives them the skills they need to be successful in the academic job market, last year IRACDA trainees received professorships at the University of San Diego, San Diego State University, and California State Long Beach. Through leading this program, Holly is empowering the next generation of scientific researchers, and ensuring that this generation better reflects the rich diversity of the country.

Some of her recent awards include the Joseph Larner Memorial Lectureship Award in Pharmacology in 2018 and Chancellor’s Award Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) Leadership in 2017, as well as election as a AAAS Fellow in 2012.

Her first lecture is titled “Nuclear Phospholipid Sensors in Metabolism and Intestinal Epithelial Homeostasis” and will be at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 9. Her second is titled “Hormone Responsive Brain Modules Power Movement and Skeletal Strength” and will be at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 10. Both seminars will be in the Room 1211 of the Hector F. DeLuca Biochemical Sciences Building (440 Henry Mall).

The talks are part of the Biochemistry Colloquium’s Steenbock Lectures, funded by the Harry Steenbock Lectureship in Biochemistry and Life Sciences. Steenbock was a highly regarded UW–Madison biochemistry professor who discovered the irradiation process for producing vitamin D.


Nuclear Phospholipid Sensors in Metabolism and Intestinal Epithelial Homeostasis:

Hormone Responsive Brain Modules Power Movement and Skeletal Strength: