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 | Max-Delbrück-Centrum
Tracking down the origins of gold
08.11.2017 | Heidelberger Institut für Theoretische Studien gGmbH
Lasagni awarded with Materials Science and Technology Prize 2017
09.10.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Werkstoff- und Strahltechnik IWS
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine
17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses