The Wound Healing Foundation (WHF) is improving the quality of life for wound healing patients and their families through support of awareness, research and education.

Thomas K Hunt Endowed Lecture

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May 7, 2019 - 8:15 - 9:15 AM
2019 WHF Hunt Lecturer George A. Brooks, PhD
San Antonio Convention Center

Hunt Lecture Legacy

The Wound Healing Foundation established the Thomas K. Hunt Endowed Lecture in 2013 to honor the legacy of Dr. Hunt and to inspire and educate wound healing researchers on related research innovations. The award is not limited to those who are directly involved in wound healing research, that is, consideration will be given to researchers who demonstrate the ability to bridge scientific gaps and cross boundaries through the use of basic physiology to understand healing processes in multiple organ systems.

  • 2018 Thomas K. Hunt Lecture.
  • WHF President Laura Parnell, TK Hunt 2018 Lecturer Elaine Fuchs, and WHF Board Member Elof Eriksson.
  • WHF Board Members and TK Hunt 2018 Lecturer Elaine Fuchs (pictured from L: Marjana Tomic-Canic, WHS Past President; Manuela Martins-Green, WHF Board Member; Laura Parnell, WHF President; Elaine Fuchs, TK Hunt 2018 Lecturer; Elof Eriksson, WHF Board Member; Paul Liu, WHF Secretary)
  • WHF President Laura Parnell and Elaine Fuchs, TK Hunt 2018 Lecturer.
  • Thomas K. Hunt at the 2017 WHF Hunt Lecture.

Additional characteristics of the WHF Thomas K. Hunt Lecture awardees may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Major contributions to scientific inquiry that is likely to advance the field of wound healing
  2. Technological innovations or mechanistic insight that can quantify or improve wound healing or its research
  3. Academic achievement through mentoring across disciplines
  4. Potential impact on wound research directions or therapies

Future awardees of the Thomas K. Hunt Lectureship are selected annually by the Wound Healing Foundation. The award will fund the travel, lodging, meeting registration and compensation. Awardees are also able to attend a special private annual luncheon with the Thomas K. Hunt lecturer. If you donate to this lecture or your company provides the endowment of this lectureship, your company may also participate in this unique activity. To help complete the endowment of this program, visit our donate page to make a donation today.

Endowed Lectures

The Foundation is raising funds to support several endowed lectures to be given at the annual meeting of the Wound Healing Society. Lectures can be given by a clinical scientist and/or a basic scientist focused on improving wound care or wound healing. The goal of this campaign is $100,000 for each lecture to be endowed.

2019 Lecture - George A. Brooks, PhD

George A. Brooks, PhD
Integrated Biology
UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

As a collegiate athlete George Brooks was very much interested in understanding physiology and biochemistry to improve is time in the 440 and 880 yard runs. In that capacity Brooks had to manage lactic acidosis on a daily basis. When his competitive days were over he earned a Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology at the University of Michigan and subsequently took a post-doctoral fellowship in Muscle Biology and the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Brooks then joined the University of California Berkeley Faculty in July of 1971. At Cal Berkeley, Dr. Brooks retained an interest in understanding human performance during exercise and at high altitude, but he turned his attention his attention to studying basic metabolic processes to better understanding of human capabilities in health and disease.

In recent years, Dr. Brooks and colleagues developed two working hypotheses: "The Lactate Shuttle", and the "Crossover Concept." Research on the Lactate Shuttle has been to elucidate the pathways and controls of lactate (lactic acid) formation and removal before, during and after exercise. The work involved studies on animals and humans, the use of isotope tracers, muscle biopsies and cardiovascular, pulmonary and endocrine measurements. Along the way he and colleagues discovered that the body makes lactate all the time, and that endurance training develops the capacities to produce, remove and utilize lactate as a fuel energy source. Subsequently, studies of lactate shuttling have revealed three functions of lactate; lactate is a fuel energy source, the main gluconeogenic precursor, and a signaling molecule with autocrine, paracrine and endocrine functions. In fact, Dr. Brooks and colleagues demonstrated that lactate is favored as a fuel by working red muscle, heart, liver and brain. Along the way they also discovered that the muscle respiratory apparatus is comprised of a large network, a “mitochondrial reticulum” that doubles in mass in response to regular exercise because training which also increases the expression of hundred of genes.

For the last decade Dr. Brooks and others have appreciated translational value of Lactate Shuttle theory. Recent research shown that lactate is a favored brain fuel in injured as well as healthy persons and clinical trials are under way to improve outcomes in traumatic brain injury patients using lactate supplementation. Also, he and his colleagues noted similarities between metabolic responses in exercise and cancer; a feature of cancer cells being aerobic glycolysis and lactate production (i.e., the Warburg Effect) under fully aerobic conditions. Currently independent investigators and workers in pharma are attempting to control cancer cell proliferation by developing Lactate Shuttle blockers and inhibitors of MCT insertion into plasma membranes. Dr Brooks is also thought to be responsible for the aphorism "Tumors are wounds that don't heal". Similarly, Brooks’ journey into translational research inevitably brought him in contact with Thomas K. (TK) Hunt. As such, they spent many happy and challenging hours discussing, and teaching lactate metabolism in trauma and wound healing. In his semi-historical and biographical lecture Dr. Brooks will remind and inform about Lactate Shuttle theory and encourage others to translate theory into practice.

Dr Brooks he has published more than 200 peer-reviewed papers and has been cited over 31,000 times. He has also served on several NIH grant review panels, and was a member of the National Academy of Sciences panel that wrote the scientific report that is the base for our current dietary guidelines. Dr. Brooks received the Honor award from the American College of Sports Medicine in 2007, and the Honor award from the Exercise and Environmental Physiology Section of the American Physiological Society in 2014.

Past WHF Thomas K Hunt Endowed Lecture Speakers are:

2018 Elaine Fuchs, PhD
The Rockefeller University, NYC, NY
Coping with Stress: Stem Cells in Injury, Cancer and Inflammation
View Lecturer Bio
2017 Napoleone Ferrara, M.D.
University of California, San Diego
Anti-Angiogenic Therapy: From Bench To Clinic
View Lecturer Bio and 2017 Presentation
2016 Robert Langer, Sc.D.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Biomaterials and biotechnology: From the discovery of the first angiogenesis inhibitors to the development of controlled drug delivery systems and the foundation of tissue engineering
View Lecturer Bio
2015 Leroy Hood, MD, PhD.
Institute for Systems Biology
Proactive P4 Medicine: Catalyzing a Revolution in Healthcare through a Longitudinal, Digital-Age 100,000 Person Wellness Project
View Lecturer Bio
2014 Robert A. Weinberg, Ph.D., presented by Jordan A. Krall, Ph.D.
Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research
Tumor stromal interactions and malignant progression
View Lecturer Bio
2013 Thomas K Hunt, MD
Professor Emeritus, University of California San Francisco
Lactate, Oxygen and Wound Healing
View Lecturer Bio