Page 10 - Abacoa Community News - March '23
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      The Scripps Research Institute from page 9            “Correct number and correct composition of ribosomes   president of the international Max Planck Society, was a
                                                         is a key to cell health,” Karbstein concluded.    particular delight for the South Florida scientific community.
      RNA Symposium Attracts Thought Leaders                Anna Marie Pyle, a professor at Yale University and   In preparation for his presidency in June 2023, Cramer is
      In Basic And Translational Research                HHMI and a past president of the RNA Society who is   visiting each Max Planck location around the world – MPFI
         More than 175 people attended “RNA: From Biology   exploring development of antimicrobials that act on the   is the only Max Planck Institute in the United States.
      to Drug Discovery” at The Herbert Wertheim UF Scripps   organisms’ unique RNA, called the meeting a historic   About International MPS President-Elect Dr. Patrick
      Institute for Biomedical Innovation & Technology on Jan.   gathering  of  RNA  leaders.  She  praised  Disney  for  his   Cramer
      17 and 18. It was the first major scientific conference at   pioneering work showing the druggability of RNA.      In June 2022, the Max
      the institute since the pandemic began, and so researchers      Organizers offered their special thanks to event   Planck Society  Senate  in
      relished the opportunity to share recent work and reconnect.  sponsors UF Health, Alphazyme and Sarepta Therapeutics.   Berlin unanimously appointed
         The conference attracted 18 impressive outside   They said plans are in the works for a repeat of the   Cramer president-elect of the
      speakers, including multiple Howard Hughes Medical   symposium in 2025.                              international society. He will
      Institute (HHMI) investigators, members of the U.S.                                                  assume the role in June 2023.
      National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of  Max Planck Florida Institute                         Cramer is a chemist and
      Medicine. Incoming Max Planck President-Elect                                                        molecular biologist working
      Patrick Cramer, Ph.D., shared his structural studies of   Science Meets Music At Max Planck Florida   as managing director of the
      the machinery underlying DNA transcription, featuring   Institute For Neuroscience                   Max Planck Institute for
      riveting imaging of transcription complexes in motion.     A crowd of                                Neurosciences in Göttingen,
         Faculty who conduct both basic and clinical studies   more than 500                               Germany. In his lecture,   Patrick Cramer, Ph.D.,
      involving RNA shared their discoveries in many areas.   turned out on                                Cramer shared  his work   president-elect of Germany’s
      Until recently, RNA was deemed an unsuitable drug target   Jan. 18 to enjoy                          researching how cells grow   Max Planck Society speaking
      by many in the scientific community. The speakers at the   the sounds of the                         and  change  in  a  process   at “RNA: From Biology to
      symposium showed how much the ground has shifted,   Palm Beach Symphony – in tune with a lecture on gene   known as gene transcription.   Drug Discovery” on Jan. 18,
      as they described diverse projects aimed at fungal,   transcription at Science Meets Music.             Founded in  1948,  the   with a vivid illustration of
      viral, cancer and neurological disease targets, including      Science Meets Music, held at the Benjamin Upper   Max Planck Society conducts   DNA transcription by David
      epilepsy, Parkinson’s and ALS.                     School and presented by Max Planck Florida Institute for   research  in  the  natural   Goodsell, Ph.D., behind him.
         “The fact that 80 percent of the human genome encodes   Neuroscience (MPFI), showcases visionary neuroscientists   sciences, life sciences, and
      RNA while 1 percent encodes protein suggests that there   and virtuoso musicians side-by-side.       humanities at 86 institutes, facilities, and centers around the
      is much to study about this biomolecule to leverage its      This resonating performance and lecture series focuses   world. With a budget of nearly two billion euros, the society
      huge potential to treat disease,” said symposium co-  on curiosity and dedication – shared values that drive artists   produces more than 15,000 research publications annually
      host Matthew Disney, Ph.D., who chairs the chemistry   and scientists to explore breakthrough ideas with discipline,   and has had 30 Nobel laureates in its storied history.
      department at The Wertheim UF Scripps Institute.   perfection, and attention to detail.
         Laura Ranum, Ph.D., the director of the Center for      Welcoming featured speaker Dr. Patrick Cramer, incoming   Max Planck Florida Institute on page 11
      NeuroGenetics at the University of Florida, described
      her group’s research leading to a clinical trial of the
      drug metformin for treatment of C9orf72 ALS and
      frontotemporal dementia.  The work may also have
      implications for Alzheimer’s disease.
         Howard Chang, M.D., Ph.D., of Stanford University
      and HHMI, described how his group is harnessing AI and
      computational strategies to studies of long noncoding
      RNAs in a quest for ways to boost production of immune
      cells that can bind pathogens and cancer targets.
         Maurice Swanson, Ph.D., associate program director
      at UF’s Center for NeuroGenetics and a co-host of the
      symposium, discussed his research on unstable genetic
      repeats in DNA and their role in diseases such as myotonic
      dystrophy type 1 and Huntington’s.
         It was clear that advances in basic scientific
      understanding have been key to the recent rapid move
      toward clinical therapies. Many speakers shared new
      insights about DNA transcription and protein assembly
      via ribosomes. Cellular stress impacts and quality control
      mechanisms were a key focus.
         Professor Katrin Karbstein, Ph.D., of The Wertheim UF
      Scripps Institute, a co-host of the conference, and Rachel
      Green, Ph.D., of the Johns Hopkins University School of
      Medicine and HHMI, discussed how cellular stress can
      lead to ribosome collisions and protein assembly errors,
      a likely contributor to cell death and disease.
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      Anna Marie Pyle, Ph.D., of Yale University, describes the
      unique RNA of pathogenic fungi that present an opportunity
      for therapeutics development. Pyle called the symposium                          10%
      potentially historic for convening so many important figures
      in the field.

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