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.
MFPL Career Day 2017
At the MFPL, career development on all levels is paramount. The MFPL therefore organizes a Career Day on a biennial basis for PhD students and Postdocs, as some of the most important career decisions are made during the PhD or Postdoc time. The Career Day offers a fantastic opportunity to explore a wide variety of career possibilities in the life sciences and beyond.
Three FWF Stand-Alone grants for MFPL scientists
We congratulate Christa Bücker, Alexander Dammermann and Bojan Zagrovic on winning three prestigious FWF Stand-Alone grants. The FWF will support their research projects with a total of more than €1.1 million over the next three years.
Cancer Research Run 2017
This year’s Cancer Research Run, organized by the Medical University of Vienna and the Initiative for Cancer Research, once again attracted thousands of supporters.
Three uni:docs fellowships for MFPL PhD students
We congratulate our PhD students Madhwesh Coimbatore Ravichandran, Merrit Romeike and Adriana Savova for winning the uni:docs fellowship for highly qualified doctoral candidates of the University of Vienna!
Five new full professorships for MFPL scientists
MFPL group leaders Verena Jantsch, Sascha Martens, Isabella Moll, Kristin Tessmar-Raible and Bojan Zagrovic have recently been promoted to full professors at the University of Vienna. We congratulate them to this great accomplishment, which recognizes their outstanding scientific achievements and dedication to education.
Interscience – First interdisciplinary symposium of the Vienna Doctoral Schools
On September 14th and 15th 2017, the Großer & Kleiner Festsaal of the University of Vienna were the setting of the first joint conference of the four current Vienna Doctoral Schools (VDSs): Cognition, Behaviour and Neuroscience, Mathematics, Molecules of Life and Physics.
When fish swim in the holodeck
Behavior experiments are useful tools to study brain function. Standard experiments to investigate behavior in popular lab animals such as fish, flies or mice however only incompletely mimic natural conditions. The understanding of behavior and brain function is thus limited. Virtual Reality (VR) helps in generating a more natural experimental environment but requires immobilization of the animal, disrupting sensorimotor experience and causing altered neuronal and behavioral responses. Researchers at the University of Freiburg, and the Max F. Perutz Laboratories (MFPL), a joint venture of the University of Vienna and the Medical University of Vienna, in collaboration with groups at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) and the MPI for Ornithology in Konstanz, have now developed a VR system for freely moving animals – FreemoVR - to overcome most of these limitations. Their findings are now published in Nature Methods.
Immune system can be modulated by targeted manipulation of cell metabolism
In its attempt to fight a serious bacterial infection, caused by listeria, for example, the immune system can become so over-activated that the resulting inflammatory response and its consequences can quickly lead to death. Scientists from the Medical University of Vienna and the Max F. Perutz Laboratories of the MedUni Vienna and the University of Vienna, supervised by Gerhard Zlabinger from the Institute of Immunology, have now demonstrated in an animal model that such an excessive response by the immune system can be modulated by targeted manipulation of the sugar metabolism to produce an immune response that efficiently eliminates the pathogens without causing any harmful secondary reactions.
Three FWF accolades for MFPL labs
Group leaders Thomas Leonard and Bojan Zagrovic were awarded an FWF standalone grant each, while postdoc Linda Trübestein received a Hertha Firnberg postdoctoral fellowship.
Spot on: DNA damage
MFPL scientist Dea Slade dedicates her research to the cellular responses to DNA damage. Recently, Dr. Slade won a WWTF Next grant and, together with a team of MFPL scientists, published new results on the DNA damage response in the renowned journal Nucleic Acids Research.The WWTF Next grant is awarded to researchers to facilitate the transfer of newly developed techniques from the bench to commercial applications.