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U. Montana Professor Stephen Sprang Delivers O’Leary Lecture March 30

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SPOKANE, Wash. – Stephen Sprang, biology professor and director of the Center for Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics at the University of Montana, Missoula, will discuss “Adrenaline: How Pathways of Discovery Converge” at Gonzaga University’s O’Leary Lecture at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, March 30 in the Cataldo Hall Globe Room. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Sprang is a structural biologist whose laboratory uses X-ray crystallography, spectroscopy, biochemistry and molecular biology to understand the molecular basis of the processes by which cells communicate with each other. For the past two decades, his laboratory has focused on G protein-mediated signaling, through which myriad biological pathways ranging from vision to the immune system are controlled. The story of adrenaline signaling, to which his laboratory has contributed, exemplifies the many pathways that converge to produce a critical biological response.

Sprang received his doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and taught biochemistry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School where he was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. Sprang has directed the UM Center for Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics – which is supported by the National Institutes of Health – since 2007. Also, he is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The annual lecture series is presented by the GU science departments in honor of the late Father Timothy O’Leary, S.J., devoted priest and chemistry professor at Gonzaga from 1933 until his death in 1975.  Friends and former students of Fr. O’Leary established an endowment to bring a noted scientist to campus each year in his honor. Fr. O’Leary was described by his students as a superb lecturer, and his classes were known for their clarity of presentation. A native of Butte, Montana., he was a generous and gifted counselor, teacher and priest.

Gonzaga hosts a distinguished scientist as the O’Leary Lecturer for several days, primarily to meet with Gonzaga science majors. The visiting scientist delivers a specialized lecture and is officially introduced as the O’Leary Distinguished Scientist at a public lecture designed for general audiences.

For more information, please contact Debbie Wiseman at (509) 313-6638 or

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