Female power at NaturTalente 2018: Now with focus on Life Sciences
The competence program of UNIPORT, “NaturTalente”, has entered its fourth round in 2018. Designed specifically for excellent students, the initiative aims at establishing a network between students from life sciences, chemistry, and the Medical University of Vienna and influential industry partners.
International FWF grant for MFPL scientist Martin Leeb
We congratulate stem cell researcher Martin Leeb on winning an International FWF grant for the research project “Systems biology of embryonic stem cell differentiation”.
A technology award for the University of Vienna and MFPL
Dr. Nadezda Sedlyarova, researcher of the University of Vienna at the Max F. Perutz Laboratories (MFPL), and Dr. Jürgen Mairhofer of enGenes Biotech GmbH, were awarded one of three prizes from START:IP 2018 for their collaborative evaluation of an innovative technology developed in the laboratory of Prof. Renée Schroeder at the MFPL.
Learning about a human genetic disease from plants
Fanconi anemia is a rare human genetic disease characterized by severe pathologies like predisposition to cancer, congenital defects and infertility. Previous studies have shown that most of the genes affected in the disorder are implicated in DNA repair. As studies on germ cells (the precursor cells of egg and sperm cells) carrying mutations in Fanconi anemia genes have proven to be extremely challenging in animal models, the Schlögelhofer group at MFPL have used the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana to investigate the role of a key protein in Fanconi anemia – Fanconi anemia D2 protein (FANCD2).
Molecule linked to antagonistic mechanisms that keep muscle proteins in shape
Scientists in Vienna discover two distinct roles for the molecule UNC-45 in keeping muscle proteins in the right shape: on its own it steers the assembly of a muscle protein; in conjunction with a partner it triggers the degradation of severely damaged muscle proteins. The findings, reported in Nature Communications, may help to better understand muscular diseases.
Collecting the right waste: insights into the molecular mechanism of p62-mediated autophagy
Waste management is a big problem, and not only for us but also for our cells. In order to remain healthy, our cells must constantly collect and degrade the waste that is produced inside them. If this harmful material accumulates cells will ultimately die, affecting the health of the entire organism. For example, many degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases are thought to arise from the accumulation of harmful waste inside the cells.
Two ERC Consolidator Grants for the MFPL
MFPL group leaders Claudine Kraft (University of Vienna) and Alwin Köhler (Medical University of Vienna) are each awarded a prestigious ERC Consolidator Grant. One of the most meaningful awards for researchers in Europe, the ERC Consolidator Grant will support their research in recognition of their future potential and past achievements. The funding amounts to EUR 2.000.000 over the course of five years for each grant.
Veni Vidi Vici: How natural killer cells conquer the superbug Klebsiella
Multidrug resistance of microbes poses a serious global threat to human health. Such resistant strains of Klebsiella pneumoniae significantly reduce therapeutic options for the treatment of Klebsiella-induced, potentially fatal pneumonia or sepsis. Pavel Kovarik and his team at the Max F. Perutz Laboratories (MFPL), a joint venture of the University of Vienna and the Medical University of Vienna, together with colleagues at Queen’s University Belfast now report new insights into how immune cells communicate at the site of infection and join forces in the fight against Klebsiella infections. Their results, published in the journal PLOS Pathogens, might be used for the development of alternatives to ineffective anti-microbial drugs.
The 2017 VBC PhD Awards
The 2017 VBC PhD Symposium ‘Continuum’ ended with the traditional VBC PhD Award ceremony on November 10th. The award is granted to postgraduate students to acknowledge outstanding PhD theses. It was inspired by MFPL group leader Renée Schroeder and is supported by the research institutes involved in postgraduate education at the VBC.
Laura Gallego Valle is Researcher of the Month November at the Medical University of Vienna
Congratulations to Laura, PhD student in Alwin Köhler’s lab! She is awarded on occasion of her recent publication “Structural mechanism for the recognition and ubiquitination of a single nucleosome residue by Rad6-Bre1”. This paper is the result of a multidisciplinary study carried out between the MFPL and the IMP in Vienna, and groups in LMU (Munich, Germany) and HHMI - University of Washington (Seattle, USA).
New molecular mechanisms of a class of anti-cancer drugs discovered
Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerases (PARPs) regulate a great diversity of cellular processes, among them DNA repair, transcription, mitosis and cell fate, making them attractive targets in cancer therapy. PARP inhibitors, agents that block the activity of PARPs, have been undergoing multiple clinical trials in recent years. One of these inhibitors, olaparib, has eventually been approved as therapy for BRCA-mutated ovarian cancer in the US and the EU in 2014. However, the molecular mechanisms of PARP inhibitors have not been fully understood.
Obituary for Denise P. Barlow
It is with deep regret that we have to report the untimely death of our colleague at the CeMM (Austrian Academy of Sciences), Prof. Dr. Denise P. Barlow. She passed away on October 21st, 2017 at the age of 67 after severe illness.