Sex, Tears and the Courtship of Mice

February 22, 2007

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From silk worms and love-sick mice, biological scientist Kazushige Touhara expands our understanding of olfaction, the mysterious and important sense of smell. Without it many animals would not survive because chemical cues lead to food, and suitable mating partners.

Touhara, associate professor of integrated biosciences at the University of Tokyo, is the 2006 recipient of
Frank Allison Linville's $30,000 R.H. Wright Award in Olfactory Research and distinguished visiting professor at SFU.

His significant contributions to understanding the mechanisms underlying pheromone reception in both vertebrates and invertebrates include the identification of mammalian pheromones in tears and the identification of pheromone receptors in insects.

Touhara gives two public talks: Sex Pheromone in Tears: An unusual aspect of courtship in mice. The first talk is on Monday, March 5 at 3 pm in the Diamond Alumni Centre on the Burnaby campus, and will include an award ceremony, lecture and reception.

The second talk is on Tuesday, March 6, at 7 pm at the Vancouver campus at 515 West Hastings Street. The talk is free but seating is limited. Please call 604.291.5100 or email for reservations.

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