Tuesday November 13

"Migraine, Stress and Peanut M&Ms"

A discussion with

 Steve Peroutka, MD, PhD

Migraine Scientist

Tuesday November 13, 2007
6 to 7:30 p.m.

Migraine affects approximately 30 million people in this country, typically adults between the ages 25 and 55.  Seventeen percent of all women experience a migraine headache at some time, an incidence rate three times higher than for men.

Migraine is characterized by throbbing pain, usually located on one side of the head, often accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light and sound.  For migraine sufferers, the effects are substantial.  Over half of migraineurs are severely impaired or require bed rest during attacks.  The National Headache Foundation estimates that 157 million workdays are lost annually due to migraine.

Stephen J. Peroutka is a neurologist and pharmacologist whose research in migraine spans 25 years.  Peroutka will discuss how his research into the genetic basis for migraine led him to surprising data regarding the role of insulin receptors.  He will also discuss his resulting conclusions on ways to deal with migraine, including factors that trigger the onset of migraines and the usefulness of peanut M&Ms.

Peroutka received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees in 1979 and 1980, respectively, from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.  After completing an internship at Stanford in 1981 and a residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital, he was an Assistant Professor of Neurology and Pharmacology at Stanford from 1984-1990 and was Chief, Neurology Service, at the Palo Alto VA Hospital from 1988-1990.

In 1990, he joined Genentech, Inc. where he established the Department of Neuroscience and became its first Director in 1991.  In 1993, he founded Spectra Biomedi­cal, Inc., an association genetics company focused on migraine.  In June, 1997, Spectra Biomedical, Inc. was acquired by Glaxo Wellcome Inc.  Subsequently, he has been an independent consultant to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.  He was Chief Medical Officer at Collabra Pharma in 2000-2001, Vice President of Clinical Research at Deltagen, Inc. in 2001-2002 and President and CEO of Synergia Pharma, Inc. from 2003-2005.  Most recently, he was the Franchise Development Leader for Pain at Johnson & Johnson.  He also founded The Physician Genome Partnership, an Internet-based group of international physicians dedicated to interpreting the clinical relevance of the human genome.

The slide presentation is available here (requires Adobe Reader).