MD Anderson Events
John H. Blaffer Lecture Series
Date: 4/2/13, 4pm to 5pm
Time: 4/2/13, 4pm to 5pm
Location: Onstead Auditorium, Basic Science Research Building, Floor 3, near Elevator J, (S3.8012)
Facilitator: Les Krushel
Speaker: Jennifer A. Doudna
Speaker Bio: In the central dogma of molecular biology, DNA is transcribed into RNA, which then is translated into protein. Although RNA may be considered simply an intermediary between these two important biological molecules, RNA is much more than just a recipe for making proteins. In the 1980s, researchers showed that certain RNA molecules function as enzymes, a role previously attributed solely to proteins. Jennifer A. Doudna, Ph.D., Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology and Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, has devoted her scientific career to revealing the secret life of RNA. Using structural biology and biochemistry, Doudna's work deciphering the molecular structure of RNA enzymes (ribozymes) and other functional RNAs has shown how these seemingly simple molecules can carry out the complex functions of proteins. In two landmark studies, Doudna and colleagues solved the crystal structures of two large RNAs, the P4-P6 domain of the Tetrahymena thermophila group I intron ribozyme (1) and the hepatitis delta virus (HDV) ribozyme (2). By determining their molecular structures, her work has advanced the understanding of RNA's biological function. In her Inaugural Article published in this issue of PNAS (3), Doudna describes how a special piece of hepatitis C viral RNA, called the internal ribosome entry site (IRES), hijacks the host cell's machinery and induces it to churn out viral proteins.
Contact: Doris Green - (713) 834-6267 - email@example.com
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