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John Diffley to give Max Birnstiel Lecture

21 Mar 2022

The biochemist John Diffley of the Francis Crick Institute (London, UK) will give a Birnstiel Lecture on 30 March 2022. The Birnstiel Lectures are the IMP’s flagship lecture series that brings distinguished scientists to the Vienna BioCenter.

With the Birnstiel Lectures finally being back “in-person”, the IMP is looking forward to welcoming biochemist John Diffley of the Francis Crick Institute in London. Diffley is a key contributor to the current understanding of how cells duplicate the genetic information in their genome so that it can be passed from one cell generation to the next.

John Diffley will give his talk “Understanding the Mechanism and Regulation of Eukaryotic DNA Replication” at the IMP Lecture Hall at 11 am on 30 March 2022. The lecture will be streamed via Zoom and recorded to be made available later.

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) summarises Diffley’s research interests as such: “John Diffley's group uses biochemistry, genetics, and cell biology to understand how eukaryotic cells replicate their chromosomes, thus ensuring stable maintenance of their genomes. His work has shown in molecular detail how DNA replication origins are regulated […]. With his reconstitution of the entire chromatin replication pathway using purified proteins, he has developed approaches to understand how the replicative DNA helicase is loaded at origins, how it is activated, how it nucleates assembly of the replication machinery and how the replication machinery displaces and re-deposits nucleosomes during replication.”

John Diffley obtained his PhD at New York University, followed by postdoctoral research with Bruce Stillman at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (New York). In 1990, he joined Clare Hall Laboratories as a group leader. Clare Hall Laboratories joined other institutions to form the Francis Crick Institute in 2010. John Diffley is now Associate Research Director of the Francis Crick Institute.

Diffley is an elected member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (1999), of Academia Europaea (2009), the European Academy of Cancer Sciences (2011), and the National Academy of Sciences (2020). He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 2005, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2007, and Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2011. Diffley is a recipient of the Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research (2003), the Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine (2016), and the Gairdner International Award (2019).

John Diffley will be hosted by IMP Scientific Director Jan-Michael Peters and group leader Rushad Pavri.

About the Birnstiel Lectures

The Birnstiel Lectures are the IMP’s prime seminar series, named after the late founding director of the institute. Five to six scientists - all distinguished leaders in their fields - are invited every year to deliver one of these outstanding lectures that are open to the public and invariably draw a large audience to the IMP.

View upcoming Max Birnstiel Lectures

Watch recordings of past Max Birnstiel Lectures