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Thomas Cech to give Max Birnstiel Lecture

22 Oct 2018

The Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) cordially invites you to attend the talk

Shedding some Light on the Dark Matter of the Genomic Universe
By Thomas Cech
University of Colorado, Boulder

Date: Wed., 24 October 2018, 11.00 a.m.
Venue: IMP Lecture Hall, Campus-Vienna-Biocenter 1, 1030 Vienna

Thomas Cech is best known for discovering the catalytic properties of RNA in the early 1980s. His seminal work established that RNA is not merely a passive carrier of information but indeed plays an active role in the metabolism of the cell. Following this discovery, the Cech Lab studied the mechanism of catalytic RNAs and determined the crystal structure of entire ribozymes. Today, the group is studying the structure and mechanism of long noncoding RNAs and RNA-protein complexes, including telomerase and complexes that regulate transcription. Their research also focuses on the telomeric DNA-protein complexes that cap the ends of human chromosomes and help regulate telomerase. The overarching goal is to understand the detailed mechanism of these systems and how their misregulation contributes to diseases, including cancer.

Thomas Cech studied Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1975, he earned his PhD and went on to engage in postdoctoral research at the MIT. In 1978, he joined the University of Colorado in Boulder, where he continues to lecture as Distinguished Professor. From 2000 to 2008, he also acted as President of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Maryland. 

Thomas Cech's work has been recognised by numerous awards and prizes, culminating in the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1989 which he shared with Sidney Altman.

For his Max Birnstiel Lecture, Cech was invited by IMP Group Leader Luisa Cochella.

About the Max Birnstiel Lectures

The Max Birnstiel Lectures are a special series of seminars at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) in Vienna. They are named after the founding director of the institute, Max L. Birnstiel, who passed away in 2014. Each year, five to six scientists are invited to deliver one of these lectures. Previous lecturers are distinguished leaders in their respective fields among them a number of Nobel Prize laureates. The Max Birnstiel Lectures attract considerable attention in the wider scientific community and invariably draw a large audience to the IMP.

Programme of the Max Birnstiel Lectures:

Videos of past Max Birnstiel Lectures: