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New insight into how telomeres protect cells from premature senescence

Researchers at the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) and Johannes Gutenberg University (JGU) in Mainz have further uncovered the secrets of telomeres, the caps that protect the ends of our chromosomes. They discovered that an RNA molecule called TERRA helps to ensure that very short (or broken) telomeres get fixed again. The work, which was recently published in the journal Cell, provides new insights into cellular processes that regulate cell senescence and survival in ageing and cancer. Read more about it in the press release here.


Brian Luke awarded a Heisenberg Professorship

Brian Luke has been awarded a prestigious Heisenberg Professorship from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation). Brian Luke is now jointly appointed as Professor at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and Adjunct Director at the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB), where he will continue to investigate the structure and function of telomeres. Read more about it in the press release here.


RNA modification important for brain function

Researchers at the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) and Johannes Gutenberg University (JGU) in Mainz have shown that a new way of regulating genes is vital for the activity of the nervous system. They found that this form of regulation, a chemical modification on RNA called m6A, is also important in influencing whether flies become male or female. This study clearly shows that RNA modifications play an important role. Read more about it in the press release here, in English or German.


Peter Baumann awarded Humboldt professorship

Peter Baumann has been awarded the prestigious Alexander von Humboldt professorship, which will be realised through a joint appointment at Mainz University’s Faculty of Biology and as an Adjunct Director at IMB. Prof. Baumann is a leading specialist in the field of chromosome biology, genome stability and the regulation of telomerase, as well as other molecular cell-ageing processes. He is currentlyan Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Stowers Institute for Medical Research and a Professor at the University of Kansas Medical Center. For more information, read the press release in German here and English here, and from the Alexander von Humboldt foundation (German and English).


Christof Niehrs member of American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Professor Christof Niehrs, IMB's Founding Director, has been elected to the Academy as a Foreign Honorary Member. The American Academy of Arts and Sciences—one of the oldest and most prestigious honorary learned societies in the world—has elected IMB’s Founding Director Professor Christof Niehrs as a Foreign Honorary Member. Read more about the award and Christof Niehrs in the full press release in English or German.