Friday, March 13, 2009

John Mattick is coming to Chile

I've always been interested in the RNA field, particularly RNA splicing. In fact, I'm currently working on RNA metabolism and gene expression regulation in plant organelles.
During my stay at Jon Staley's Lab in the University of Chicago in 2007, I worked on a project aimed at evaluating the functional relevance of introns in the genome of Saccharomyces cerevisae.
It's then no surprise that since I've been here at P. Universidad Católica de Chile I've been pushing to invite a prominent scientist working in the RNA field for him/her to give a talk and maybe some lectures for graduate students in the Molecular Genetics graduate program.
My candidates list was a long one and included people like David Bartel, Joan Steitz, Victor Ambros and Phil Sharp just to name a few. Considering how exciting their work is, you can imagine how difficult it was going to be to choose just one.

Finally, in late 2008, together with the Dean at my school, we decided on Professor John S. Mattick. Mattick has put forward to idea that most genetic information in mammals is conveyed by RNAs that control differentiation and development and that a regulatory mechanism (signaling network), based on RNA, could partly explain the increases in eukaryote complexity1.

I'm extremely please John accepted our invitation to visit Chile, which will undoubtedly be an exciting and enriching experience for both grad students and faculty members at our school.

He will give a faculty seminar on April 14th and lectures on the 15th and 17th. If you are in the area (Santiago, Chile) just sent me an email for more info.

1 Mattick JS. RNA regulation: a new genetics? Nature Rev. Genet. 5, 316–323 (2004).