Structural Biochemistry/Matthias W. Hentze

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Matthias Hentze is a German scientist born January 25, 1960. He is the Associated Director of the European Molecular Biology Lab and Professor of Molecular Medicine at Heidelberg University. Had medical training in Germany and the United Kingdom. In 1884, he recieved his medical degree from the University of Munster in Germany. In the late 1980s did his postdoc at the National Institutes of Health in the United States, where he and his colleagues discovered 'iron-responsive elements'. Along with his career in science, Hentze is also a marathon runner, and claims that once marathon running became a part of his life, long days no longer wear him down.

While doing his postdoct at the National Institutes of Health, Hentze and colleagues discovered 'iron-responsive elements'. This caught his interest in post-transcriptional gene regulation and the diseases of iron metabolism. This interest was the result of a failed postdoctoral project in which Hentze cloned human ferritin genes to try and explain the elusive genetic defect in hereditary hemochromatosis. Within months of catching interest, they had showed that IRE's can regulate translation and mRNA turnovers. This laid the foundation of the first genetic regulatory network that is in cytoplasm.

Hentze co-founded as well as co-directs the Molecular Medicine Partnership Unit, which is a join interdisciplinary translational research unit between EMBL and Heidelberg University. This acts as a bridge between medicine biology and molecular biology. Hentze is a recipient of many national and international research honors such as Germany's highest research award, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnize Prize. Hentze is an elected member of both the European Molecular Biology Organization and Germany Academy Sciences. With the ERC Advance Grant, Hentze group is exploring how metabolism and the gene regulations are coordinated.


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