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Nobel laureate Sharp to speak at VUMC

Nov. 8, 2012, 11:07 AM

Nobel laureate Phillip Sharp, Ph.D., will deliver the next Flexner Discovery Lecture on Thursday, Nov. 15.

His talk, “The biology of non-coding RNAs,” will begin at 4 p.m. in 208 Light Hall.
Sharp is Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a faculty member of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research.

Sharp shared the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery that genes can be discontinuous (present in the genome as separate segments) and that a process called RNA splicing edits out the intervening “introns” to generate protein-coding messenger RNA.

His team has focused on the mechanisms of RNA splicing and on the molecular biology of gene expression, particularly in cancer. The group currently studies how non-coding RNAs — RNA molecules that do not code for proteins — act as switches to turn genes on and off.

Sharp is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Royal Society of the UK. In addition to the Nobel Prize, his awards include the Lasker Prize, the Gairdner Foundation International Award and the National Medal of Science.

The Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center and the Department of Cancer Biology are sponsoring Sharp’s lecture. For a complete schedule of the Flexner Discovery Lecture series and archived video of previous lectures, go to

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