|Birth Day:||January 30, 1949|
|Birth Place:||Northfield, United States|
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He received his BA from Augsburg College and MD from Johns Hopkins University.
Referred to as the "Hermit Kingdom," the DPRK has been nearly totally isolated from the world since the negotiated ceasefire in 1953. Requests for entry by US organizations were rebuffed. Working through the DPRK Ambassador to the UN, an invitation was issued to the Nobel Laureate-led AAAS team in partnership with CRDF Global for a visit hosted by the DPRK State Academy of Sciences in December 2009. Avoiding issues related to weapons development, requests to visit 15 research institutes, universities, the Grand People's Study House, and a hospital were all granted. In most cases, the leadership of these institutions had never seen or met an American previously. Potential future scientific collaboration in the life sciences such as medicine development and agricultural research received extensive and enthusiastic discussion. A follow up visits by DPRK scientific leadership to the AAAS – CRDF team occurred 15 months later at the Carter Center in Atlanta.
Agre received his B.A. in Chemistry from Augsburg University in Minneapolis and his M.D. in 1974 from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. From 1975 to 1978 he completed his clinical training in Internal Medicine at Case Western Reserve University's Case Medical Center under Charles C.J. Carpenter. This was followed by a Hematology-Oncology fellowship at North Carolina Memorial Hospital of UNC Chapel Hill. In 1981, Agre returned to the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine to join the lab of Vann Bennett in the Department of Cell Biology.
In 1984, Agre was recruited onto the faculty of the Department of Medicine led by Victor A. McKusick. He subsequently joined the Department of Biological Chemistry led by Dan Lane. Agre rose to full professor in 1992 and remained at Johns Hopkins until 2005. Agre then served as the Vice Chancellor for Science and Technology at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, where he guided the development of Duke's biomedical research. In 2008, he returned to Johns Hopkins, where he directs the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute (JHMRI) in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and holds a joint appointment in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
As a Johns Hopkins medical student in the early 1970s, Agre worked in the labs of Brad Sack and Pedro Cuatrecasas where he investigated the enterotoxin-induced diarrhea that caused dehydration and death of small children in developing countries. After clinical training, Agre joined Vann Bennett's lab in the Cell Biology Department at Johns Hopkins where he studied red cell membranes and identified spectrin deficiency as a common cause of hereditary spherocytosis, a hemolytic anemia with fragile, spherically shaped red cells. In 1984, Agre joined the Department of Medicine where he built his own research program and first isolated the 32 kilodalton core subunit of the Rhesus blood group antigen, RhD.
In addition to the 2003 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Agre was elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences in 2000, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003, the American Philosophical Society in 2004, the National Academy of Medicine in 2005, and the American Society for Microbiology in 2011. Agre has received 19 honorary doctorates from universities around the world, including Japan, Norway, Greece, Mexico, Hungary, and the United States.
In October 2003, it was announced that the Nobel Prize in Chemistry would go to two medical doctors, Peter Agre and Roderick MacKinnon, "for discoveries concerning channels in cell membranes." Credited for discovery of the aquaporin water channels, Agre was in bed at 5:30 am when the call came from Stockholm. Upon learning the news later, his mother responded, "That's very nice but don't let it go to his head." MacKinnon, credited with solving the structure and selectivity of potassium channels, was traveling back from a weekend fishing trip and only learned the news from colleagues.
Fieldwork in rural Africa is central to the JHMRI mission. A long-term partnership was initiated in 2003 with Macha Research Trust, a faith-based research program led by Dr. Philip Thuma that is affiliated with a former mission hospital in rural southern Zambia. With resources from JHMRI, a small modern research campus was constructed where African scientists and visiting scientists from Johns Hopkins are studying malaria drug resistance, mosquito insecticide resistance, and rates of malaria transmission. Since introduction of artemisinin combination therapy in 2003 and distribution of insecticide treated bed nets in 2007, the burden of malaria in small children has declined in Macha by 96%.
As Chairman of the Committee on Human Rights of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Agre led a group of prominent scientists that defended Thomas C. Butler, an infectious disease researcher from Texas Tech University who in January 2003 voluntarily reported to the university safety office that 30 vials of plague bacteria were missing and had probably been autoclaved or incinerated. Although Butler cooperated with FBI agents, he was accused of lying and was arrested. When he refused to plead guilty, federal prosecutors charged Butler with many confusing charges concerning grant accounting and sample shipping. Despite support from Agre and other scientists, Butler was convicted in a jury trial, lost his medical license, and served 2 years in prison. Occurring at a time of large national fear following the 9/11 attacks, the incident has been seen by some as an overreaction by the FBI due to public fear of bioterrorism.
In 2004, Agre received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement. In February 2014, he was named a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins University for his accomplishments as an interdisciplinary researcher and excellence in teaching the next generation of scholars. The Bloomberg Distinguished Professorships were established in 2013 by a gift from Michael Bloomberg.
Despite polls indicating that he could win, Agre announced in August 2007 that he would not enter the race for the Minnesota Senate seat, calculating the huge personal cost and the termination of his federally funded scientific research program and humanitarian service. An advocate for increased representation of science in government, he would not rule out the possibility of seeking public office in the future.
Long interested in diseases of the developing world, Agre and his team investigated aquaporins in malaria parasites, malaria mosquitoes, and cerebral malaria. In 2008, Agre became Director of the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute (JHMRI) at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. Launched in 2001 by a gift from Michael Bloomberg and the Bloomberg Philanthropies, JHMRI includes 20 faculty members whose lab efforts include development of mosquitoes resistant to malaria transmission, design of novel malaria vaccines, biological studies of potential malaria drug targets and search for novel anti-malarial medicines.
The governments of Cuba and the US have maintained a hostile relationship made worse by the embargo that prevented the import of essential goods, equipment and even medicines. The inauguration of Barack Obama in 2009 led to a liberalized interpretation of restrictions by the U.S. government allowing scientific and cultural exchanges between the two countries.
In November 2009, Agre made the first of six trips to Cuba when he led a group of scientists from AAAS to Havana. Two years later, Agre led an extensive series of visits to the Cuban Academy of Sciences and leading Cuban scientific institutions including the institutes for biotechnology, pharmaceutical and vaccine development, a teaching hospital and ELAM (Latin American School of Medicine) Cuba. Invited to lecture at the University of Havana, Agre also met with Fidel Castro who discussed numerous topics including the need for universal health care as one cause for the Cuban Revolution. Agre subsequently led another AAAS visit and served as Honorary President of Biotecnologia Habana 2012 and Plenary Lecturer at Quimcuba 2015.
Although Barack Obama carried Minnesota by a landslide, the senate election was a statistical tie resulting in a recount and six months of legal fights before the Minnesota Supreme Court awarded Al Franken the victory by only 312 votes out of 2.9 million ballots cast. The outcome was important as Franken was sworn in as Senator in July 2009 and provided the 60th vote necessary to end debate on the Affordable Care Act.
Receipt of an International Center of Excellence in Malaria Research Award (ICEMR) from the US National Institutes of Health in 2010 allowed expansion of the JHMRI program in Africa. New field sites were organized in partnership with African agencies in northern Zambia and southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where malaria control has failed, and in eastern Zimbabwe at the border of Mozambique, where malaria has become resurgent.
A meeting occurred with the leadership of the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST), a private university founded by a Korean-born American businessman. The only English language university in DPRK, PUST draws outstanding undergraduate and graduate students from DPRK and volunteer faculty from abroad. Opening in 2010, PUST is the only campus where westerners can mingle with students in DPRK. Agre provided keynote plenary lectures to the 1st International Science Symposium at PUST in 2011 and the 3rd symposium in 2015. Invited to participate in a tour of multiple DPRK universities by four Nobel Laureates in 2016, Agre was unable to attend due to a hospitalization. It would have been his fourth trip to the country.
A visit by Agre and the AAAS Science Diplomacy team to Myanmar occurred in April 2010. Travel was made to the new capital, Naypyidaw, for formal meetings with the Ministry of Forestry and Ministry of Health to discuss malaria. A meeting with faculty of University of Yangon was also held. Despite continued existence of the junta, an impending transition was evident, as meetings with the opposition were arranged in Yangon. Although Aung San Suu Kyi was unavailable as she was still under house arrest, her release occurred six months later, and Myanmar has made solid progress towards liberal democracy.
Agre and his wife Mary have been married since 1975, and have three daughters, one son, and two young granddaughters. Agre is an Eagle Scout and recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award (DESA). Two of his brothers, also physicians, and his son Clarke, a public defender, are also Eagle Scouts. Agre enjoys wilderness canoeing in the arctic and cross-country skiing, having completed the 60 mile Vasaloppet ski race in Sweden five times. Diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2012, Agre has had to reduce his activities.
In 2015, Agre signed the Mainau Declaration 2015 on Climate Change on the final day of the 65th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting. The declaration was signed by a total of 76 Nobel Laureates and handed to then-President of the French Republic, François Hollande, as part of the successful COP21 climate summit in Paris.
Peter's father, like himself, was a chemist.
Currently, Peter Agre is 72 years, 4 months and 14 days old. Peter Agre will celebrate 73rd birthday on a Sunday 30th of January 2022. Below we countdown to Peter Agre upcoming birthday.
Peter Agre's Birthday Celebration | HappyBday.to