Abstract: The post-transcriptional fate of mRNAs in the cytoplasm of all cell types is controlled by RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) and microRNAs (miRs). Post-transcriptional regulation is particularly important in early animal embryos, which are transcriptionally silent. Drosophila early embryos express a majority of the RBPs encoded by the genome, however their molecular, cellular and developmental functions as well as their binding specificities are largely unknown. Transcriptomic, proteomic and computational approaches are being used to predict and test RBP functions.
About Dr. Lipshitz
Howard Lipshitz is a Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto. He received B.Sc. (1976) and B.Sc. (Hons.) cum laude (1977) degrees from the University of Natal, Durban, South Africa, and his M.Phil. (1980) and Ph.D. (1983) degrees in Biology from Yale University. He then carried out postdoctoral work in the Biochemistry Department at Stanford University (19831986) during which he identified the first long non-coding RNA (from the Drosophila bithorax complex). He was Assistant (19861992) and then Associate (1992-1995) Professor of Biology at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California before moving to Toronto in 1995 as a Professor at the University of Toronto and Senior Scientist in the Research Institute of the Hospital for Sick Children. He served as Associate Director of the Research Institute (1997-2001) and Head of what is now its Program in Developmental & Stem Cell Biology (2001-2005); then Chair of the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University (2005-2016). He also served as Associate Director of the Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular
Research at the University (2007-2010). He is currently Co-Director of the University of Toronto–Zhejiang University Joint Institute of Genetics and Genome Medicine (since 2015) and Senior Advisor on International Partnerships to the Chair of the Department of Molecular Genetics (since 2016). Awards and honors include: the Damant Science Prize from the University of Natal (1975); South African National Scholarship (19781980); Helen Hay Whitney Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship (1983-1986); Searle Foundation Scholar (1988-1991); Canada Research Chair in Developmental Biology (2001-2008); the Elliot Osserman Award of the Israel Cancer Research Fund, New York (2008); Honorary Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Hong Kong (2012-2019); Adjunct Professor (2015-2017) and Qiushi Chair Professor (2017-2020) in the Zhejiang University School of Medicine; and Gordon and Betty Moore Distinguished Scholar in Biology and Biological Engineering at the California Institute of Technology (2017). He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Lipshitz is an internationally recognized leader in the field of post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. He has authored over 100 research papers, review articles and book chapters and edited/authored four books. Service has included: chair or a member of the organizing committee of international conferences and workshops; boards of directors of scientific societies; advisory boards of funding agencies; editorial boards of scientific journals; research grant peer review committees in the USA and Canada. His research program is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
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