January 27, 2014

Witold Filipowicz awarded Gutenberg Chair

Witold Filipowicz has been awarded the Gutenberg Chair of the RĂ©gion Alsace at a ceremony on January 24, 2014. Gutenberg chairs are awarded to internationally renowned scientists for the purpose of stimulating scientific research in the Alsace, France.

The recipients receive funding for one year towards a research project at the University of Strasbourg. The program has been implemented on the proposal of the Cercle Gutenberg, a panel of 41 esteemed scientists from different disciplines.

Witold Filipowicz: A pioneer in RNA research
Witold Filipowicz is a group leader at the FMI and professor emeritus at the University of Basel. As a pioneer in RNA research, he has studied this molecule long before the recent excitement around RNA interference (RNAi), microRNAs (miRNAs), and RNA's newly defined role in gene regulation arose. His results, synergizing with others in the field, not only paved the way for a new view of the function of RNA in the cell, but laid the groundwork for harnessing RNA-driven processes for biomedical purposes. In the last couple of years, in particular, his characterization of human Dicer, the protein catalyzing the first step in RNAi, and his work on the function and metabolism of miRNAs, have demonstrated that small RNA molecules play a key role in gene regulation.
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