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Elena Conti

Elena Conti wins Protein Society's 2023 Hans Neurath Award

Professor Elena Conti (Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry) will receive the Protein Society's 2023 Hans Neurath Award in Boston in July 2023.  The Hans Neurath Award, sponsored by the Hans Neurath Foundation, honors individuals who have made a recent contribution of exceptional merit to basic protein research. Dr Conti is recognized for her discovery of mechanisms of RNA export, processing, and quality control in the cell. RNAs are key macromolecules that are found in all living organisms and in many viruses. Conti's work focuses on the quality control and degradation of RNA. She has studied how RNA is transformed from non-functional to functional molecules, and how, finally, they are broken down when they are no longer needed or when they are found to be defective. She has focused on the exosome, which performs several of these tasks. Her results have been highly influential and encouraged many other researchers to try new approaches.

Professor Elena Conti studied Chemistry at the University of Pavia in Italy. She received her PhD in Protein Crystallography at Imperial College, London, UK in 1997. After a Postdoctoral fellowship in John Kuriyan’s lab at The Rockefeller University, New York, USA, she was appointed Group leader at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, in 1999. There she focused her research interest on mechanisms of RNA export to the cytoplasm and the structure and function of the molecular machines involved. Conti has followed the fate of RNA in the cytoplasm since then. She was appointed Director and Scientific Member at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Martinsried near Munich, Germany in 2006 where she leads the department of “Structural Cell Biology”. Since 2007, she is Honorary Professor at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. Conti received numerous awards, among others the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize in 2008 and the Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine in 2014.

The Protein Society is the leading international Society devoted to furthering research and development in protein science. Founded in 1986, the purpose of the Society is to provide international forums to facilitate communication, cooperation, and collaboration regarding all aspects of the study of proteins. In support of these goals, the Society publishes Protein Science, the premier journal in the field, hosts an annual international symposium, and facilitates the education of early-career protein scientists across all lines of discipline. The membership of Protein Society represents a wide spectrum of academic, industry, governmental, and non-profit institutions from more than 40 countries around the world.