Architecture and mechanistic interplay of promoters and enhancers in controlling gene expression

by John T. Lis

(Cornell University, USA)

 18 May 2023 17:00

 Mendel Lectures take place in Mendel´s refectory in the Mendel Museum Brno

John T Lis obtained his PhD at the Brandeis University in 1975. After postdoctoral work at the Stanford University he joined the faculty of Molecular and Cell Biology at the Cornell University at Ithaca, New York where he set up his laboratory in 1978. He rose through the ranks and became Barbara McClintock Chaired Professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics in 2004. John´s research was recognized by numerous honors and awards, including election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2013 and to the National Academy of Sciences in 2015.

The main focus of John Lis’ lab is on the mechanism of transcriptional control. Using the model of heat shock genes, he investigated inducible mRNA production and factors that participate in the heat shock gene induction response. He developed and used a variety of strategies to probe the structure of promoters and genes and the regulation of their activities in living cells. He developed the first version of the now commonly-used crosslinking “Chromatin Immunoprecipitation” (ChIP) method for mapping proteins on DNA in vivo. He discovered and characterized paused RNA Polymerase II (Pol II) at gene promoters. By developing nuclear run-on assays (GRO-seq, PRO-seq) for genome-wide mapping of the density and orientation of RNA Polymerase II, he showed that promoter-associated RNA Polymerase II in metazoans, is ‘paused’ and the pausing is a rate-limiting step in transcription of about half of all genes.

He also developed approaches for generating and expressing RNA aptamers that inhibit specific interactions of the targeted protein in vitro and in vivo.

                                                                                                                          John T. Lis

Lecturer photo


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