Centrioles - critical players in cell division
Mitosis is the process by which the genetic information encoded on chromosomes is equally distributed to two daughter cells, a fundamental feature of all life on earth. Scientists led by Alexander Dammermann at the Max Perutz Labs, a joint venture of the University of Vienna and the Medical University of Vienna, now examine how centrioles contribute to this process. The findings, published in “Developmental Cell”, help to elucidate the function of these tiny cellular structures in mitosis.
How cells quickly activate innate immunity
Upon infection cells manage to quickly switch from normal operation to immune reaction in a matter of minutes. This innate immunity requires a cellular signal cascade that activates antimicrobial or antiviral gene expression. Scientists led by Thomas Decker at the Max Perutz Labs have discovered that an alternative version of the activator of antimicrobial gene expression is constantly present on DNA. A molecular switch between the alternative and the regular version enables a quick onset of the immune response. The findings are published in the journal “Nature Communications”.
“I am excited by the idea that we discover the unknown about the most fundamental things in life.”
Originally from Turkey, Elif Karagöz’s scientific journey brought her to Germany to do her Master’s and to the Netherlands for her PhD at Utrecht University. She then moved to the US where she held a PostDoc position at the University of California at San Francisco. She joined the Max Perutz Labs as a group leader in January 2019 to study stress responses in cells.
New tool for visualizing molecule properties
Nucleic acids and proteins can be described on different structural levels, but all depend on the most basic - the primary structure. It describes the exact sequence of amino acids or nucleotides – the smallest molecular units that form proteins or RNA and DNA. These units have certain physical and chemical properties, like charge or propensity to interact with water, which ultimately determine the property and, therefore, the function of the whole molecule.
First Max Perutz Day kicks off a new era at the Max Perutz Labs Vienna
On the occasion of Max Perutz’ 105th birthday, the science community, students and stakeholders from the University of Vienna and the Medical University gathered to celebrate the first Max Perutz Day on May 23rd. The event was held to honour the scientific legacy of the Nobel prize winner for whom the institute is named.
All pictures (c) feel image / matern
Andreas Bachmair appointed full professor
Max Perutz Labs group leader Andreas Bachmair has been promoted to full Professor of Genetics and Biochemistry by the University of Vienna.
New research platform to investigate key player in earth’s ecosystem
The University of Vienna has awarded €470.000 to an interdisciplinary research platform co-headed by Max Perutz Labs group leader Kristina Djinovic-Carugo, together with Michael Wagner and Holger Daims from the Department of Microbiology and Ecosystem Science at the University of Vienna. The platform will research the Comammox bacteria, an important component in the global ecosystem and especially in the planet’s nitrogen cycle.
New funding for stem cell research at Max Perutz Labs and the Vienna BioCenter
The Austrian Science Fund FWF has awarded a doc.funds grant totalling more than €1.7 million to a consortium of stem cell researchers at the Vienna BioCenter. The group involves scientists from the Max Perutz Labs and the Faculty of Life Sciences of the University of Vienna, the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA), and the Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP). The programme is coordinated by Max Perutz Labs group leader Florian Raible and will support the recruitment of nine PhD students to start projects in the field of stem cell research starting in fall 2019.
Renovating the house – how cells stay in good shape
Everyone owning a house knows it: to stay like new it needs cleaning and mending. Similarly cells constantly renovate and get rid of unwanted material in a process called autophagy in order to replace it with new parts. This ensures that the organism stays healthy over the years. Like a house renovation, different contractors are employed with repairs and getting rid of waste, and perfect communication is required between them. An international team of scientists from Berlin and Berkeley led by Sascha Martens from the Max Perutz Labs, a joint venture University of Vienna and the Medical University of Vienna now describe how this communication between two important factors takes place and thus ensures that autophagy correctly works in the cell.
ÖAW DOC Fellowship for Anete Romanauska
Congratulations to MFPL PhD student Anete Romanauska who has received the DOC Fellowship of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. She currently pursues her PhD studies in Alwin Köhler’s lab. The prestigious DOC Fellowship Programme offers funding for highly qualified doctoral candidates.
RNA helicase activity in the immune system: a matter of sex chromosomes
The proverbial differences between sexes are also found in many biological processes. Immune responses for example have for a long time been known to have distinct differences between males and females. Scientists from Thomas Decker’s group in collaboration with other research institutes now add another piece in the puzzle of sex related differences in immunity.
Roland Foisner elected foreign fellow of Czech Learned Society
Every year The Learned Society of Czech republic elects new members following nominations by its regular members. Currently there are 103 regular, 49 foreign members and 14 emeritus members in the Learned Society.