Upstate News

March 25, 2010
Doretta Royer 315 464-4833

Nobel laureate to highlight student research presentations set for March 31, April 2

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Seventy-five students from Upstate Medical University’s four colleges will share information about their research studies, and Nobel Laureate Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D., will offer a keynote address, as part of the Charles R. Ross Memorial Student Research events, to be held March 31 and April 2 in Weiskotten Hall, 766 Irving Ave., Syracuse. The events are free and open to the public. Sharp, the Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is a geneticist and molecular biologist who co-discovered gene splicing.

The event begins March 31 with platform research presentations by 10 students who will offer brief discussions on their research and field questions from the audience. The platform presentations will be held from 1 to 3:45 p.m. in the Medical Alumni Auditorium in Weiskotten Hall. A poster session featuring investigations by 65 students from Upstate’s four colleges will immediately follow the platform presentations in the Ninth Floor Cafeteria at Weiskotten Hall.

The keynote presentation, “RNA’s Role in Gene Regulation,” by Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D., will be held April 2, at noon in the Medical Alumni Auditorium in Weiskotten Hall.

Sharp shared the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Richard J. Roberts for the discovery that genes in eukaryotes are not contiguous strings but contain introns, and that the splicing of messenger RNA to delete those introns can occur in different ways, yielding different proteins from the same DNA sequence. Because of the insight Sharp’s and Roberts’ research has produced into the mechanisms of cell reproduction, it has important ramifications for research on malignant tumors and the viruses responsible for their development. It has also led to an investigation of methods for stopping the replication of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), with potential benefits in the search for a treatment for AIDS.

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