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Challenges of selective targeting of protein kinases in cellular environments
by Stefan Knapp
(SGC Frankfurt, Germany)
When
3rd October 2019
at 5 PM
Who
Lecturer photo

Prof Stefan Knapp studied Chemistry at the University of Marburg and the University of Illinois. He did his PhD in protein crystallography at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and continued his career at the Karolinska Institute as a postdoctoral scientist (1996-1999). From 1999 to 2004 he worked at Pharmacia Corporation and from 2004-2015 at the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC) at Oxford University. From 2008 to 2015 he was a Professor of Structural Biology at Oxford University (UK) and between 2012 and 2015 he was the Director for Chemical Biology at the Target Discovery Institute. He joined Frankfurt University in 2015 as a Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry. Since 2017 he is the CSO of the SGC at the University of Frankfurt.

RNA-mediated genome instability
by Andrés Aguilera
(Department of Molecular Biology, University of Sevilla, Spain)
When
7th November 2019
at 5 PM
Who
Lecturer photo

Andrés Aguilera is Professor of Genetics of the University of Seville and Director of the Andalusian Centre of Molecular Biology and Regenerative Medicine (CABIMER). He obtained his PhD in Seville in 1983. After two postdoctoral stays in the Darmstadt Technical University (Germany) and the NYU Medical Center (USA), he started his own lab dedicated to Genome Instability in 1991 in the Faculty of Biology (Univ. Seville), and since 2006 in CABIMER. His research led to the identification of the THO complex and its function in mRNP biogenesis and R loop prevention and the role of co-transcriptional R loops in genome instability and their connection with chromatin modifications, and has largely contributed to understand the mechanisms by which transcription and RNA cause replication stress and genome instability and the mechanisms of DSB repair by sister chromatid recombination. Member of EMBO, he belongs to the International Scientific Advisory Boards of different Research Centres and to the Editorial Board of several scientific journals. Holder of several national scientific prizes and distinctions in Spain, like the Carmen & Severo Ochoa National Prize on Molecular Biology or the Francisco Cobos Foundation in Biomedicine, he has been awarded HFSP and ERCAdv grants, among other international programmes.

Antisense-mediated chromatin regulation
by Caroline Dean
(John Innes Centre Norwich, UK)
When
14th November 2019
at 5 PM
Who
Lecturer photo

Caroline Dean is a molecular geneticist from the UK who has developed and exploited the reference plant Arabidopsis thaliana to study seasonal timing mechanisms. This has led Caroline into a detailed mechanistic analysis of the regulation of one Arabidopsis locus, encoding the floral repressor FLC. FLC transcription is quantitatively modulated by an antisense-mediated chromatin mechanism that coordinately influences transcription initiation and elongation. The gene is also epigenetically silenced through a cold-induced, cis-based, Polycomb switching mechanism.  FLC has therefore turned out to be an excellent system to dissect conserved mechanisms by which non-coding transcription and chromatin mechanisms regulate gene expression.

 

Caroline did her PhD at the University of York on chloroplast division in wheat, and then spent 5 years as a post-doctoral research fellow in a biotech company working on how to achieve high level protein expression in transgenic plants  at Advanced Genetic Sciences, Oakland, California. She took up an independent group leader position at The John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK in September 1988.

 

She served as Associate Research Director of the John Innes Centre (1999-2008) was elected to EMBO in 1999, Fellow of the Royal Society in 2004, and US National and German Leopoldina Academy in 2008 and in 2012 was selected as a Non-Resident fellow of Salk Institute, La Jolla, USA. She was awarded an OBE in 2004, a BBSRC Excellence in Bioscience award in 2014, FEBS/EMBO Woman in Science award in 2015, Royal Society Darwin medal and appointed Dame Commander in 2016. She recently became a 2018 L’Oreal Woman in Science Laureate.

 

In 2019 she was awarded a Royal Society Professorship to link her laboratories activities with structural analysis at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge.

Would Gregor Mendel be alarmed that designer babies walk among us?
by Gerald P. Schatten
(McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, USA)
When
21st November 2019
at 5 PM
Who
Lecturer photo

Professor Schatten is a Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Cell Biology, Bioengineering and Director of the Division of Developmental and Regenerative Medicine. Dr. Schatten has directly trained >50 doctoral and postdoctoral fellows, along with several MD, MD-PhD and DVM trainees.  He is extremely active in advanced research training and was one of the three founding directors of the FRONTIERS IN REPRODUCTION, the premier reproduction training vehicle for MD and PhDs.  Along with Dr. Roger Pedersen, Dr. Schatten is the founding course director of Frontiers in Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research (FrHESC) – an intensive laboratory and lecture-based introduction to this emerging research field. He was the Founding Director of FRONTIERS IN STEM CELLS AND REGENERATION taught annually at Woods Hole and directs FRONTIERS IN STEM CELLS IN CANCER at Howard University and Ponce School of Medicine, FRONTIERS IN AGING, ALZHEIMERS AND REGENERATIVE MEDICINE at Xavier University and Morehouse School of Medicine and Frontiers in Addiction Research and Pregnancy, all of which are supported by the NIH. 

He is currently President of UNESCO’s International Cell Research Organization.

With extensive funding from the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Schatten is the recipient of an NIH MERIT, and earlier a Research Career Development, Award, was honored by election as an AAAS Fellow and Delegate; the Patrick Steptoe Medal by the British Fertility Society; the Purkinje Medal of Science by the Czech Academy of Sciences; the Shield of Honor in Reproductive Medicine from the Jordanian Society of Fertility and Genetics, presented by H.R.H. Jordanian Princess Basma; the Pioneer Award in Frontiers in Human Embryonic Stem Cell Biomedicine from Stanford; the Diplome D'Honneur by l'Association Internationale du Cinema Scientifique; Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University’s Daniel Mazia Award; the NICHD’s William Sadler Award; Mentor Award from the American Society for Cell Biology; and the Doctor Honoris Causa (Honorary Doctorate) from the University of Nova Gorica, presented by the President of the Republic of Slovenia. In 2016, the film “Voyage of Time,” narrated by Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, was released, and his assistance in the human fertilization animations was credited. In 2018, he was honored with the MBL’s FOUNDER'S AWARD for the Frontiers in Stem Cells and Regeneration Course.  In November 2019, he will present the Johan Gregor Mendel Lecture at Mendel’s home, the Augustinian Abbey in Brno, Czech Republic.

His > 300 papers on stem cells, regeneration, fertilization, cell biology, development, infertility, assisted reproductive technologies, as well as strategies for rectifying past injustices in scientific careers, have appeared in premier journals including Nature and Science. Dr. Schatten is also an eloquent advocate for research in reproduction, development, regeneration and stem cells.

From Base Pairs to Bedside: Antisense Therapeutics for Targeted Modulation of Splicing or NMD
by Adrian Krainer
(Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Watson School of Biological Sciences, USA)
When
5th March 2020
at 5 PM
Who
Lecturer photo

Adrian R. Krainer, Ph.D. is the St Giles Foundation Professor and Deputy Director of the Cancer Center at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (Long Island, NY). He received BA and PhD degrees in Biochemistry from Columbia University and Harvard University, respectively. Prof. Krainer is a researcher in the field of RNA splicing, and an inventor of the RNA-targeted antisense therapeutic Spinraza, the first approved drug to treat the neurodegenerative disease spinal muscular atrophy. He has published over 200 scientific articles and holds 7 US patents and 83 foreign patents that have been licensed or sublicensed to 3 companies. He is a founder and Director of Stoke Therapeutics. He is the recipient of the 2019 Life Sciences Breakthrough Prize, the 2019 RNA Society Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2019 KJ Zülch Prize in Basic Neurological Research, the 2019 ETH Peter Speiser Award in Pharmaceutical Sciences, the 2019 Bermuda Principles Award, the 2018 Brandwein Award in Genetic Research, the 2017 FE Bennett Memorial Award of the American Neurological Association, and an honorary doctorate from Tel Aviv University. Prof. Krainer is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the National Academy of Inventors (USA), and the Royal Society of Medicine (UK).

One for sorrow, two for joy: control of chromosome segregation in meiosis.
by Wolfgang Zachariae
(Laboratory of Chromosome Biology, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Germany)
When
12th March 2020
at 5 PM
Who
Lecturer photo

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Mendel Lecture (title will be specified)
by Jennifer Doudna
(Departments of Chemistry and of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, USA)
When
19th March 2020
at 5 PM
Who
Lecturer photo

Jennifer Doudna is the Li Ka Shing Chancellor’s Chair and a Professor in the Departments of Chemistry and of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. She is also an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Executive Director of the Innovative Genomics Institute. Her co-discovery of CRISPR-Cas9 genetic engineering technology, with collaborator, French scientist Emmanuelle Charpentier, has changed human and agricultural  genomics research forever. This genome-editing technology enables scientists to change or remove genes quickly, with a precision only dreamed  of just a few years ago. Labs worldwide have changed the course of their research programs to incorporate this new tool, creating a CRISPR revolution with huge implications across biology and medicine. In addition to her scientific achievements and eminence, Doudna is also a leader in public discussion of the  ethical and other implications of genome editing for human biology and societies, and advocates for thoughtful approaches to the development of policies around the use of CRISPR-Cas9. She has received many prizes for her discoveries, including the Japan Prize (2016) and the Kavli Prize (2018), and in 2015 was named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.