26 February

Francesca Mattiroli receives NVBMB prize

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Francesca Mattiroli has been awarded the prestigious NVBMB prize, a prize that gives recognition to the work of a highly talented young independent researcher in the fields of biochemistry or molecular biology. The prize also includes funding for her to organize a one-day scientific meeting on a topic of her choice. Francesca Mattiroli is a group leader at the Hubrecht Institute sinds 2017.

Mattiroli studies how cells maintain their identity as they divide. In particular, she studies how chromatin is inherited during cell division. Chromatin is the complex of DNA and histones, proteins that organize the DNA inside the cell nucleus and control its accessibility. By controlling the accessibility of the DNA, they affect which genes are active and regulate cell identity. When cells divide, the DNA sequence and its organization into chromatin need to be accurately replicated, to ensure that cells maintain their identity and avoid a deviation from their healthy functions.

These processes are very hard to study in cells, because they are so essential to cell survival. Mattiroli aims to study these processes in vitro, outside of a cell. This minimizes secondary effects that may obscure our complete understanding of chromatin inheritance. By studying these processes in vitro, she will be able to tweak the players involved in these processes and study their direct functions. Mattiroli hopes to use this knowledge to understand the molecular basis for cell fate decisions, and to provide new targets in future cancer therapeutic efforts.

The scientific meeting that Mattiroli will organize will take place at the end of the year and will be open to everyone. More information will follow closer to the meeting.



Francesca Mattiroli is group leader at the Hubrecht Institute.

The NVBMB, the Netherlands Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, is part of the Royal Netherlands Chemical Society and aims to stimulate the field of biochemistry and molecular biology through symposia, lectures, prizes and travel grants. Many previous NVBMB prize recipients have gone on to become experts in their field.