Dynamic genome organization in humans, ancient bacteria and giant viruses: KAROLIN LUGER, University of Colorado at Boulder and Howard Hughes Medical Institute
The Austrian Science Fund (FWF) has awarded individual project grants to Manuela Baccarini, Boris Görke and Robert Konrat. The funding amounts to a total of 1.3 million Euros and will support research on the ERK signaling pathway, bacterial envelope stress responses, and intrinsically disordered proteins.
Andrea Barta has been leading the doctoral program (DK) “RNA Biology” since its inception in 2007. Over the years, the doctoral school has trained dozens of PhD students with a focus on RNA research. On the occasion of the closing conference, we talked to her about the scientific highlights of the program, the importance of thematically structured PhD education, and why the big picture matters as much as the little details.
In eukaryotes, the nucleus harbors the genetic information of a cell, protected by a double lipid membrane called the nuclear envelope. The lipid composition of membranes is tightly regulated, thereby controlling its biophysical properties and functionality. In work published in Developmental Cell, Anete Romanauska and Alwin Köhler have discovered a detoxification mechanism that protects the inner nuclear membrane from high concentrations of unsaturated lipids that can alter the viscosity and function of the envelope. They have delineated the mechanism by which excess unsaturated fatty acids are stored in cytoplasmic lipid droplets and thus kept away from the nucleus.
It is the highlight of a series of architectural changes at the Perutz: The Max Bar on the Roof has opened its doors.
Stefan Ameres obtained his Master’s degree from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (Germany) and his PhD from the University of Vienna. After postdoctoral training in the United States at the University of Massachusetts Medical School he joined the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology in Vienna as a group leader in 2012. In 2020 he was appointed Professor of RNA Biology at the Max Perutz Labs, University of Vienna. We talked to him about why RNA is the molecule of (his) life, how he rocked the terrace of the Perutz with his band as a PhD student, and what his advice to young researchers is.
In order to exchange genetic material between parental chromosomes during meiosis, cells need to introduce DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) that are later repaired in a specific manner. Which proteins are necessary and sufficient for this process and how they achieve faithful DSB formation and repair is still poorly understood. The lab of Peter Schlögelhofer and their collaborator Mathilde Grelon from the INRAE (Versailles, France) have systematically investigated the interactions between DSB proteins in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Their work also identified a key protein that links the DSB complex to the DNA repair machinery. The study is published in Nucleic Acids Research.