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Protein sorting, kidney disease are interests of Long Professor

Michael Caplan

Michael J. Caplan, M.D., Ph.D., professor of cellular and molecular physiology and of cell biology, has been named the C.N.H. Long Professor of Physiology.

Caplan is renowned for his research on the sorting and trafficking of ion transport proteins in epithelial cells, “polarized” cells in which the positioning of various transport proteins in different regions of the membrane is crucial to their proper function. His laboratory team focuses on identifying the proteins that interact with ion transporters to determine their localization and trafficking properties. His research group also studies two genes that are mutated in polycystic kidney disease and the unique trafficking processes that govern the distributions of polycystin-1 and -2, the proteins encoded by these genes.

Currently the interim chair of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Caplan has been honored with numerous awards for his scientific contributions, including the School of Medicine’s Charles W. Bohmfalk Teaching Prize, the Bowditch Young Investigator Award Lectureship of the American Physiological Society, the Young Investigator Award from the American Society of Nephrology, a fellowship from the David and Lucille Packard Foundation and a National Science Foundation National Young Investigator Award, among others.

An associate editor of the journal Physiology, Caplan is also on the editorial boards of many other scientific journals, including the American Journal of Physiology: Renal Physiology, the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, and The Journal of General Physiology. He serves on the scientific advisory board of Telethon Italia.

Caplan is a member of the American Society for Cell Biology, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Society of Nephrology and the American Physiological Society.

The C.N.H. Long Professorship is named in honor of Cyril Norman Hugh Long, M.D., a distinguished educator, administrator and scientist who was a member of the School of Medicine’s faculty for 33 years. Internationally known for his research on the role of pituitary and adrenal hormones in metabolism, in 1937 Long and Abraham White, Ph.D., isolated bovine prolactin, the first of the pituitary protein hormones to be obtained in pure crystalline form. Long served as dean of the medical school from 1947 to 1952, and died in 1970. The professorship was established in 1966 with an anonymous gift to support a faculty member working in endocrinology and metabolic disease, an unusual tribute because Long became the first person at Yale to have a chair named after him while he was still an active member of the faculty. In later years the endowment was expanded to support several professors.