Nathan Palmer, a postdoc in the Matos lab, has been awarded an EMBO Postdoctoral Fellowship that supports internationally mobile postdoctoral researchers. We talked to him about his work and the importance of international experience.
Cells integrate internal and external stimuli through complex signaling pathways in order to adapt to changing environments. In particular, cells must know when to grow and when not to. In the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway downstream of growth factors, Sgk3 is activated by the signaling lipid PI3P, but the precise mechanism of its activation is unknown. In work published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the lab of Thomas Leonard has discovered that Sgk3 is locally activated on membranes by PI3P. In the absence of PI3P, its membrane binding domain maintains Sgk3 in an inactive conformation. Since Sgk3 is upregulated in some cancers, its autoinhibited conformation represents a novel therapeutic target.
Luis Miguel Cerron Alvan and Helena Bragulat Teixidor have been selected as the first Max Perutz PhD Fellows. The program was established earlier this year with the goal to reward the most ambitious and innovative PhD projects at the institute.
Imprinted genes are expressed from either the paternal or maternal allele. Reporting in Nature Communications, scientists led by Martin Leeb have now discovered 71 previously unrecognized imprinted genes in preimplantation blastocysts. The study found that imprinting created by differential histone marks plays a more prominent role in the preimplantation blastocyst than canonical DNA methylation mechanisms.
The Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) has awarded four DOC fellowships to Max Perutz Labs PhD students Dana Abdeen, Aleksandra Anisimova, Daria Filipczak, and Helena Bragulat Teixidor. The DOC program offers funding for highly qualified doctoral candidates in all areas of research. The fellowships amount to 38,000 Euros each and will support the young researchers’ work, spanning from meiosis, lamins, inter-organelle communication, and protein quality control.
Meiosis is a specialized cell division process required to generate gametes, the reproductive cells of an organism. During meiosis, paternal and maternal chromosomes duplicate, pair, and exchange parts of their DNA in a process called meiotic recombination. In order to mediate this exchange of genetic material, cells introduce double strand breaks (DSBs) into their chromosomal DNA. Scientists from the lab of Franz Klein from the Department of Chromosome Biology at the Max Perutz Labs, a joint venture of the University of Vienna and the Medical University of Vienna, have now discovered that cells sometimes liberate DNA fragments at sites of paired, or double, DSBs. Whilst this presents an obvious risk of germline mutations as a consequence of erroneous repair or of integration of fragments from elsewhere at break sites, it may also be a source of evolutionary diversity. The study is published as a research article in Nature.
The Max Perutz Labs are embedded in the Vienna BioCenter, providing access to outstanding core facilities shared by all members of the campus in addition to facilities unique to our institute.
With a strong molecular focus and a diversity of model organisms, we aim to bridge basic research with biomedicine.
To honour an extraordinary teacher and scientist, the Max Perutz Labs were named after Max Ferdinand Perutz, who, together with John C. Kendrew, was awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his studies on the structure of globular proteins ...
The Max Perutz Labs seek to educate students to think critically and analytically, challenge them to set ambitious goals, and instill in them both broad horizons and deep understanding. In doing so, we aspire to furnish them with the necessary knowledge and skills to push forward the frontiers of 21st century biomedical science.