Professor Evans is Director of the Gene Expression Laboratory and Metabolic Engineering Program and Co-Director of the Helmsley Center for Genomic Medicine. He is known for pioneering studies on hormone signaling in physiology and in disease. His discovery of the Nuclear Receptor Superfamily provided a unified signaling mechanism for steroids, vitamin A, vitamin D, thyroid hormones and bile acids. These receptors use transcription to control sugar, salt, calcium, cholesterol and fat metabolism. They are primary targets in breast, prostate and pancreatic cancers, and leukemia treatment, and have therapeutic roles in chronic inflammation, osteoporosis and asthma. His work on muscle metabolism led to the discovery of ‘exercise mimetics,’ which promote the benefits of fitness without training. Exercise mimetics will help battle the obesity epidemic, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and cancer. His work on Vitamin D uncovered a hidden mechanism to reprogram pancreatic cancer and increase its response to chemotherapy. He is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and the recipient of multiple awards, including the Albert Lasker Award (2004) and the Wolf Prize (2012), and is a Member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine.
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