Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

MDC Researcher Zsuzsanna Izsvák Receives European Research Council Grant Worth EUR 1.94 Million

16.02.2012
Dr. Zsuzsanna Izsvák, research group leader at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch, has been named recipient of a European Research Council (ERC Advanced) grant worth EUR 1.94 million for her research on “jumping genes” (transposons).

With the aid of the ERC grant, in the next five years she will focus on investigating how mobile DNA elements (transposons) influence the pathogenesis of cancer and other diseases in the human genome. Altogether, nine MDC researchers, including Dr. Izsvák, have received grants of more than one million euros from the ERC.

About half of the human genome consists of transposon-derived sequences. Active transposons can jump to various sites of the DNA, insert themselves into the genome of the host and continue to spread in this way. Due to this characteristic, transposons are also called “jumping genes”.

As a consequence of mutations, in the course of time most of these “jumping genes” in the human genome have lost their mobility; only a few are still active. These remnants of transposons were long considered to be without any function. However, latest studies have shown that transposons are by no means “junk DNA”, but rather can influence the regulation of genes.

“The human genome is much more complex than previously assumed. In many processes in the body and also in disease, transposons may be the decisive factor,” Dr. Izsvák said. “That is why we need to take a closer look at transposons and their influence.”

With the ERC grant, Dr. Izsvák wants to explore the influence of transposons under stress conditions that are triggered by environmental influences, such as toxins or heavy metals, and to understand the association between transposon-derived regulatory sequences and human diseases. Furthermore, together with her team, Dr. Izsvák wants to advance the use of artificially produced transposons for gene therapy.

Dr. Izsvák has worked for over twenty years in transposon research. After several years of research at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis/USA and at the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam, the Hungarian researcher joined the MDC in Berlin-Buch in 1999. She has headed the research group “Mobile DNA” since 2004. At an award ceremony in Stockholm that same year she received the European Young Investigator Award (EURYI), endowed with approximately one million euros, for her research on mobile genetic elements.

With Dr. Izsvák, altogether nine researchers in Berlin-Buch have been awarded one of the highly endowed ERC grants: Professor Gary Lewin, Professor Thomas Jentsch (Leibniz-Institut für Molekulare Pharmakologie, FMP/MDC), Professor Michael Gotthardt and Dr. Jan-Erik Siemens (all 2011), Dr. James Poulet, Dr. Matthew N. Poy and Professor Klaus Rajewsky (all 2010) and Dr. Francesca Spagnoli (2009).

Contact:
Barbara Bachtler
Press Department
Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch
in the Helmholtz Association
Robert-Rössle-Straße 10
13125 Berlin
Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 30 94 06 - 38 96
Fax: +49 (0) 30 94 06 - 38 33
e-mail: presse@mdc-berlin.de

Barbara Bachtler | Max-Delbrück-Centrum
Further information:
http://www.mdc-berlin.de/

More articles from Awards Funding:

nachricht Eduard Arzt receives highest award from German Materials Society
21.09.2017 | INM - Leibniz-Institut für Neue Materialien gGmbH

nachricht Six German-Russian Research Groups Receive Three Years of Funding
12.09.2017 | Hermann von Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren

All articles from Awards Funding >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: LaserTAB: More efficient and precise contacts thanks to human-robot collaboration

At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.

Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

An international team of physicists a coherent amplification effect in laser excited dielectrics

25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

LaserTAB: More efficient and precise contacts thanks to human-robot collaboration

25.09.2017 | Trade Fair News

Highest-energy cosmic rays have extragalactic origin

25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>