April 2020

Elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2020

Congratulations to Vallee Visiting Professors Patrick Cramer and Anthony Hyman who have been elected as International Members of the National Academy of Sciences.

Patrick Cramer, Director of the Max Planck Institute of Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, works on the molecular mechanisms of gene transcription and the principles of genomic regulations in eukaryotic cells.  Most recently, he has been looking at the virus responsible for Covid-19.  He and the researchers in his lab have recently determined the 3D structure of the corona polymerase.  When someone becomes infected with the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen proliferates rapidly in the cells of the infected person. To do so, the virus has to multiply its genetic material, which consists of a single long RNA strand. This task is performed by the viral “copy machine”, the so-called polymerase. With the 3D structure now determined, it is possible to investigate how antiviral drugs such as remdesivir – which blocks the polymerase – work, and to search for new inhibitory substances.  Read more ...

Tony Hyman, Director and Research Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, has long focused on microtubules - small cylindrical polymers found in any living cell - and their role in cell division, mitotic spindle positioning, and cell polarity. More recently, he pioneered the molecular analysis of phase separation as a basic principle of organization in the nucleus, the cytoplasm and at centrosomes of eukaryotic cells. Hyman is also a recipient of the 2020 Wiley Prize in Biomedical Sciences.