The Max Perutz Labs are rebuilding key parts of the institute. The opening of the new entrance, reception, and study space for students marks a first milestone of a major project.
The protein kinase Ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) is at the heart of the cellular response to DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). Using super-resolution microscopy, the lab of Peter Schlögelhofer has explored the impact of ATM depletion during multiple steps of meiosis in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana at unprecedented resolution. Organisms lacking ATM exhibit a loss of fertility associated with a failure to correctly repair DSBs. The findings, published in The Plant Cell, describe previously unrecognized influences of ATM on the structure of meiotic chromosomes.
Joao Matos was born in Portugal, did his PhD at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (Germany), and carried out postdoctoral work in the UK. Later, he joined the ETH (Switzerland) as an Assistant Professor in 2014 and was appointed Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology at the Max Perutz Labs / University of Vienna in 2020. We talked to him about how he fell in love with meiosis, why University education should be led by basic research scientists, and how his high school teachers stopped him from becoming a football player.
How multiple enhancer elements cooperate to drive expression of their target gene is poorly understood. New research from the lab of Christa Bücker shows how a group of enhancers with weak individual activity can work together to induce robust transcription of a gene. The study is published in Molecular Cell.
Despite modern sequencing methods, determining the precise sequence of the genetic code for ribosomal RNA (rRNA) has been technically challenging due to its repetitive nature. The Lab of Peter Schlögelhofer has now, for the first time for any organism, sequenced and assembled large parts of the rDNA-encoding nucleolus organizing region of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. In their study, published in Nature Communications, the scientists also identified several tissue-specific rRNA variants, which may have functional roles in specialized ribosomes.
Changes in daylength are a well-established annual timing cue for animal behavior and physiology. An international collaboration of scientists led by Kristin Tessmar-Raible at the Max Perutz Labs now shows that, in addition to daylength, marine bristle worms sense seasonal intensity changes of UVA/deep violet light to adjust the levels of important neurohormones and their behavior. The study is published in Nature Ecology and Evolution.
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.