William E. Balch, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla (USA)
Professor of Chemical Biology, and Cell and Molecular Biology at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI).
Dr. William E. Balch is a Professor of Chemical Biology, and Cell and Molecular Biology at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), a Faculty Member of the Kellogg Graduate Program, and a Professor at the Institute for Childhood and Neglected Diseases (ICND) (TSRI).
He obtained his Ph.D. in Microbiology where he discovered the third Kingdom of Life, the Archaea, as a new line of evolutionary descent, and studied the biochemistry and biophysics of methane formation at the University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, in 1979.
He pursued postdoctoral studies at Stanford University with Dr. James Rothman, a recent recipient of the Nobel Prize for the work Dr. Balch performed in the Rothman laboratory. As an Assistant and Associate Professor at Yale University, Department of Biophysics and Biochemistry, followed by his long-standing efforts as a Professor at TSRI, Dr. Balch has pioneered new rules that direct protein folding and trafficking through the secretory pathway to the surface of mammalian cells. These pathways, when disrupted through mutation, are responsible for multiple somatic (environmentally triggered) and inherited (often rare) clinical diseases. Through the use of biochemical, structural (x-ray, cryoelectron microscopy), proteomic (mass spectrometry), morphological (imaging of folding sensors in cell and animal models), and molecular genetic and systems biology tools, his laboratory studies the mechanisms by which proteostasis, an extensive program of protein folding and management components, impacts protein function and vesicular transport pathways defective in inherited disease.
He has defined key proteostasis components and trafficking defects responsible for loss-of-function in amyloid disease, cystic fibrosis, alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency related chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and Niemann-Pick C1, the principle cholesterol manager of the cell. The overarching goal of his efforts is to develop novel therapeutics to fix childhood disease at its roots to restore a normal healthspan.
William E. Balch became a member of Scientific and medical Committee of Telethon in 2016.