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Rochester’s Maquat set for Flexner Discovery Lecture

Nov. 29, 2012, 10:22 AM

Lynne Maquat, Ph.D., the J. Lowell Orbison Endowed Chair and professor of Biochemistry & Biophysics at the University of Rochester, will deliver the next Flexner Discovery Lecture on Thursday, Dec. 6.

Her talk, “Tales from the cellular underworld: mRNA decay and disease,” will begin at 4 p.m. in 208 Light Hall.

Maquat and her team focus on RNA decay pathways — processes that remove faulty messenger RNAs and help limit the synthesis of abnormal proteins. These pathways, which include nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) and Staufen-mediated mRNA decay (SMD, discovered by Maquat’s group), appear to also play a role in regulating gene expression.

Findings from Maquat’s team will be useful in designing therapies aimed at blocking NMD, which contributes to the severity of some genetic diseases.

Maquat directs the Center for RNA Biology and serves as Chair of Graduate Women in Science at the University of Rochester. She received the RNA Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Service and is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences. She is also a 2012 Batsheva de Rothschild Fellow of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.

The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs is sponsoring Maquat’s lecture.

For a complete schedule of the Flexner Discovery Lecture series and archived video of previous lectures, go to

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