Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


REGTRANS Report Summary

Project ID: 631517
Funded under: FP7-PEOPLE
Country: France


Albert Weixlbaumer is a Molecular Biologist, who obtained his undergraduate education at the University of Vienna. In 2004 he moved to Cambridge, UK, for his PhD studies in the group of Dr. Venkatraman Ramakrishnan at the MRC – LMB. After obtaining his doctorate, he moved to the Rockefeller University in New York, USA to work with Prof. Seth A. Darst. Following his postdoctoral studies Albert was recruited at the IGBMC (Institut de génétique et de biologie moléculaire et cellulaire) in Illkirch, France as an independent team leader. He started to setup his laboratory in April 2014. In October 2014 he started his permanent CR1 (chargé de recherche de 1ère classe) research position with Inserm (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale).
Through financial support from an ATIP/Avenir start-up grant, an IdEx grant from the University of Strasbourg and the Marie-Curie Career Integration Grant, he was able to setup his lab and recruit technicians, students, and postdocs.
The general theme of research in the team is the regulation of transcription elongation by protein and RNA factors. When the information stored in genes is expressed, a universally conserved enzyme called RNA Polymerase (RNAP) needs to first transcribe DNA into RNA in every cell. Transcription is a fundamental, yet incompletely understood process. Because of its central role, the bacterial transcription machinery is also a prime drug target. Crystal structures of RNAP core as well as RNAP elongation complexes have revolutionized our understanding of transcription. This groundwork paved the way to address more complex questions regarding the regulation of transcription. Transcriptional regulation impacts every aspect of biology including a growing list of human diseases. Transcriptional pausing, a temporary interruption of transcription, plays a major role in regulating gene expression in pro- and eukaryotes. A full and mechanistic understanding is crucial and requires a combination of structural and biochemical studies. This is where this team is contributing.
Since the team was setup we focus on three major aims:
1. How do protein transcription factors modulate the rate of transcription?
2. How do non-coding RNA elements modulate transcription rates?
3. Setup of an experimental system to monitor RNA polymerase dynamics and conformational changes.
Together with the team and financial support from start-up grants including the Marie Curie Career Integration Grant, the team has started work on all three aims. We obtained enough preliminary data to support an application for an ERC starting grant, which was successful. The team is therefore in a fortunate position and can now focus completely on the outlined aims.

Reported by



Life Sciences
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