Thomas Tuschl

Last updated
Thomas Tuschl
Born(1966-06-01)June 1, 1966
NationalityGerman
Alma mater
Known for RNA interference
Children3
Awards Wiley Prize
Scientific career
Institutions

Thomas Tuschl (born June 1, 1966) is a German biochemist and molecular biologist, known for his research on RNA.

Germany Federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north and the Alps, Lake Constance and the High Rhine to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.

Biochemist Scientist specialized in biochemistry

Biochemists are scientists that are trained in biochemistry.

Molecular biology Branch of biology dealing with biological activitys molecular basis

Molecular biology is a branch of biology that concerns the molecular basis of biological activity between biomolecules in the various systems of a cell, including the interactions between DNA, RNA, proteins and their biosynthesis, as well as the regulation of these interactions.

Contents

Biography

Tuschl was born in Altdorf bei Nürnberg. After graduating in Chemistry from Regensburg University, Tuschl received his PhD in 1995 from the Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine in Göttingen. He spent four years as a post-doctoral fellow at the Whitehead Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, USA.

Altdorf bei Nürnberg Place in Bavaria, Germany

Altdorf bei Nürnberg is a town in south-eastern Germany. It is situated 25 km east of Nuremberg, in the district Nürnberger Land. Its name literally means “Altdorf near Nuremberg”, to distinguish it from other Altdorfs.

Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine organization

The Max Planck Institute of Experimental Medicine is located in Göttingen, Germany. It was founded as Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Medical Research in 1947, and was renamed in 1965. It is one of 80 institutes in the Max Planck Society (Max-Planck-Gesellschaft). Prof. Dr. Klaus-Armin Nave is currently the acting director of the institute.

Göttingen Place in Lower Saxony, Germany

Göttingen is a university city in Lower Saxony, Germany, the capital of the eponymous district. It is run through by River Leine. At the start of 2017, the population was 134,212.

In 1999 he returned to Göttingen, to continue his research at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry. There he received international recognition in Genetics for his studies of RNA interference in collaboration with the laboratory of Klaus Weber. This enables "switching off" certain genes by introducing synthetic short RNA into the cell. The mRNA is destroyed and the gene in deactivated. Possible future applications of this method include treatment of tumors or genetic disorders. The function of certain genes can be studied more easily. RNA interference is a major step in genetics.

The Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen is a research institute of the Max Planck Society. Currently, 850 people work at the institute, about half of them are scientists.

Genetics Science of genes, heredity, and variation in living organisms

Genetics is a branch of biology concerned with the study of genes, genetic variation, and heredity in organisms.

RNA interference A biological process in which RNA molecules inhibit gene expression or translation, by neutralizing targeted mRNA molecules.

RNA interference (RNAi) is a biological process in which RNA molecules inhibit gene expression or translation, by neutralizing targeted mRNA molecules. Historically, RNAi was known by other names, including co-suppression, post-transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS), and quelling. The detailed study of each of these seemingly different processes elucidated that the identity of these phenomena were all actually RNAi. Andrew Fire and Craig C. Mello shared the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their work on RNA interference in the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans, which they published in 1998. Since the discovery of RNAi and its regulatory potentials, it has become evident that RNAi has immense potential in suppression of desired genes. RNAi is now known as precise, efficient, stable and better than antisense technology for gene suppression. However, antisense RNA produced intracellularly by an expression vector may be developed and find utility as novel therapeutic agents.

In 2003 Tuschl became professor and head of laboratory at Rockefeller University in New York, where he continues his research. He is looking into microRNA, small RNA-sections, which are formed by the cells and cause RNA interference like introduced synthetic RNA-strains.

Rockefeller University Research institute in New York City

The Rockefeller University is a private graduate university in New York City. It focuses primarily on the biological and medical sciences and provides doctoral and postdoctoral education. Rockefeller is the oldest biomedical research institute in the United States. The 82-person faculty has 37 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 17 members of the National Academy of Medicine, seven Lasker Award recipients, and five Nobel laureates. As of 2019, a total of 36 Nobel laureates have been affiliated with Rockefeller University.

microRNA small non-coding RNA molecule (of ca. 22 nucleotides) found in plants, animals and some viruses, that functions in RNA silencing and post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression

A microRNA is a small non-coding RNA molecule found in plants, animals and some viruses, that functions in RNA silencing and post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. miRNAs function via base-pairing with complementary sequences within mRNA molecules. As a result, these mRNA molecules are silenced, by one or more of the following processes: (1) Cleavage of the mRNA strand into two pieces, (2) Destabilization of the mRNA through shortening of its poly(A) tail, and (3) Less efficient translation of the mRNA into proteins by ribosomes.

In 2006, two of Tuschl's fellow researchers, Andrew Z. Fire and Craig C. Mello, received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discovery of "RNA interference – gene silencing by double-stranded RNA". [1]

Andrew Fire American biologist

Andrew Zachary Fire is an American biologist and professor of pathology and of genetics at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He was awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, along with Craig C. Mello, for the discovery of RNA interference (RNAi). This research was conducted at the Carnegie Institution of Washington and published in 1998.

Craig Mello American biologist

Craig Cameron Mello is an American biologist and professor of molecular medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, Massachusetts. He was awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, along with Andrew Z. Fire, for the discovery of RNA interference. This research was conducted at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and published in 1998. Mello has been a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator since 2000.

Awards

Tuschl received several national and international awards for his work:

The Ernst Jung Prize is a prize awarded annually for excellence in biomedical sciences. The Ernst Jung Foundation, funded by Hamburg merchant Ernst Jung in 1967, has awarded the Ernst Jung Prize in Medicine, now € 300,000, since 1976 and the lifetime achievement Ernst Jung Gold Medal for Medicine since 1990.

The Max Delbrück Medal has been awarded annually since 1992 by the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine. Named after the German biophysicist Max Delbrück, it is presented in Berlin to an outstanding scientist on the occasion of the annual "Berlin Lecture on Molecular Medicine", which the MDC organizes together with other Berlin research institutions and Bayer HealthCare. The award recipient usually delivers a lecture after the award.

Ernst Schering Prize award

The Ernst Schering Prize is awarded annually by the Ernst Schering Foundation for especially outstanding basic research in the fields of medicine, biology or chemistry anywhere in the world. Established in 1991 by the Ernst Schering Research Foundation, and named after the German apothecary and industrialist, Ernst Christian Friedrich Schering, who founded the Schering Corporation, the prize is now worth €50,000.

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Max Born physicist

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Manfred Eigen German biophysical chemist

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The Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science is a formally independent non-governmental and non-profit association of German research institutes founded in 1911 as the Kaiser Wilhelm Society and renamed the Max Planck Society in 1948 in honor of its former president, theoretical physicist Max Planck. The society is funded by the federal and state governments of Germany.

Bert Sakmann German Nobel laureate

Bert Sakmann is a German cell physiologist. He shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Erwin Neher in 1991 for their work on "the function of single ion channels in cells," and invention of the patch clamp. Bert Sakmann was Professor at Heidelberg University and is an Emeritus Scientific Member of the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg, Germany. Since 2008 he leads an emeritus research group at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology.

Kaiser Wilhelm Society German Scientific Institution

The Kaiser Wilhelm Society for the Advancement of Science was a German scientific institution established in the German Empire in 1911. Its functions were taken over by the Max Planck Society. The Kaiser Wilhelm Society was an umbrella organisation for many institutes, testing stations, and research units created under its authority.

The Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize is a program of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft which awards prizes “to exceptional scientists and academics for their outstanding achievements in the field of research.” It was established in 1985 and up to ten prizes are awarded annually to individuals or research groups working at a research institution in Germany or at a German research institution abroad.

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References

  1. Nobel Prize Press Release, 2 October 2006, Accessed 16/11/2012.
  2. Thomas Tuschl, Ph.D. Awards
  3. Thomas Tuschl receives Max-Delbrück-Medal Archived 2008-10-25 at the Wayback Machine