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
ESJET printing technology for large area active devices awarded
11.04.2019 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP
Pushing digital process optimization
02.04.2019 | Technische Universität Chemnitz
Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...
With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.
Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...
'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.
However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...
Working group led by physicist Professor Ulrich Nowak at the University of Konstanz, in collaboration with a team of physicists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, demonstrates how skyrmions can be used for the computer concepts of the future
When it comes to performing a calculation destined to arrive at an exact result, humans are hopelessly inferior to the computer. In other areas, humans are...
Scientists develop a molecular recording tool that enables in vivo lineage tracing of embryonic cells
The beginning of new life starts with a fascinating process: A single cell gives rise to progenitor cells that eventually differentiate into the three germ...
29.04.2019 | Event News
17.04.2019 | Event News
15.04.2019 | Event News
17.05.2019 | Materials Sciences
17.05.2019 | Physics and Astronomy
17.05.2019 | Materials Sciences