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CeNS Colloquium

Date:20.11.2020, Time: 16:30h

Protein phase separation: How does a biophysical process encode biological function?

Dr. Steven Boeynaems, Stanford University

The rediscovery of protein phase separation has recently taken the field of cell biology by storm. More specifically, phase separation is now considered a universal framework explaining the biogenesis of membraneless organelles or so-called biomolecular condensates. Despite these recent advances, key outstanding questions remain. It is still largely unknown how cells regulate the composition and material properties of these liquid-like compartments, and how this is tied to biological function. In our work, we have used quantitative mass spec approaches and biophysical enrichment strategies to uncover a simple molecular grammar that defines the assembly of membraneless organelles centering around nucleic acid metabolism. Moreover, perturbations of this grammar are implicated in age-related degenerative diseases. By using machine learning approaches, we are now able to predict novel processes implicating phase separation in biology and disease. Lastly, we have developed synthetic biology tools that allow us to build designer condensates in vivo, which may serve as new therapeutic strategies for human disease.

Registration URL: Opens external link in new windowhttps://meetanyway.com/events/cens-colloquium-nov-20