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Non coding RNA and normal botany

November 20, 2018 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

This event is held in the Pfizer lecture theatre in the Cambridge University Chemistry Department and will be followed with a wine and cheese reception.

Professor Sir Baulcombe will describe an exercise in Kuhnian ‘normal science’ on viruses in plants that led to the discovery of small interfering RNA. That project, in turn, segued into an exploration of RNA-directed DNA methylation, epigenetic effects and non Mendelian inheritance. Technologies based on these projects have produced new human therapeutics in work of others and, from my laboratory, approaches to disease resistance in crops and strategies for general crop improvement based on epigenetics. Professor Sir Baulcombe is a Regius Professor of Botany and a Royal Society Research Professor. He was the Head of the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge until 2017. Following his BSc in botany from University of Leeds and PhD at the University of Edinburgh on mRNA in vascular plants in the 70s, Baulcombe was a post-doctoral fellow at McGill University, Canada and University of Georgia, US. He then joined the Plant Breeding Institute (PBI) in Cambridge, UK, and later the Sainsbury Laboratory, which was in Norwich at the time. With Andrew Hamilton, Baulcombe discovered the small interfering RNA that determines specificity in RNA-mediated gene silencing in plants. This gene silencing effect was later reported by Craig Mellow and Andrew Fire in C. elegans, for which they were awared the 2006 Nobel Prize. In 2009, Baulcombe was awarded a knighthood for services to plant science.


November 20, 2018
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Professor Sir David Baulcombe


Department of Chemistry
Lensfield Rd
Cambridge, CB2 1EW United Kingdom
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