May 10, 2022

Welcome to the May session!

We are excited to host two great talks this month:

Transcription at human telomeres: new insights into TERRA biology

Emilio Cusanelli, PhD

CIBIO, Italy

Telomere transcription in telomerase-negative human cancer cells

Claus Maria Azzalin, PhD

IMM, Portugal

Chairs of the session will be:

About the speaker: Emilio Cusanelli

Emilio Cusanelli

Emilio Cusanelli obtained his PhD in Molecular Oncology from the European School of Molecular Medicine (SEMM) working at the CEINGE Research Institute in Naples on a project on miRNAs in cancer.
In 2009, he moved to the University of Montreal for his postdoc in the laboratory of Dr. Pascal Chartrand where he started his work on the long noncoding RNA TERRA. During his postdoc, he developed a live imaging approach to study TERRA molecules expressed from a single telomere in living yeast cells. Emilio’s work showed that TERRA can act as positive regulator of telomerase in S. cerevisiae.
In 2014, Emilio moved to the Max F. Perutz Laboratories of the University of Vienna as an independent postdoc under the Marie Curie co-fund INDICAR postdoctoral program, where he continued working on TERRA, developing a live imaging approach to study TERRA in human cancer cells. In 2016, Emilio received a Rita Levi Montalcini fellowship from the Italian Ministry of University and Research (MUR) which enabled him to return to Italy as a senior researcher at the University of Trento. In 2019, he was awarded a MyFirstAIRC grant from the Italian Association of Cancer Research (AIRC) that enabled him to start his own lab at the University of Trento. He was promoted associate professor during the same year. Emilio’s lab continues investigating the dynamics and function of TERRA in different model systems, in particular human cancer cell lines.

About the speaker: Claus Maria Azzalin

Claus Maria Azzalin

Claus M. Azzalin is a group leader at the Instituto de Medicina Molecular João Lobo Antunes in Lisbon, where he leads the ‘Telomeres, long noncoding RNAs and genome stability’ laboratory. Claus M. Azzalin obtained his PhD in Genetics and Molecular Biology at the University of Pavia (Italy) in 2000. In 2001 he moved for a first Post Doctoral training to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York (USA) and in 2002 he relocated for a second Post Doctoral training to the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research in Lausanne (Switzerland). In 2008 he became Junior Group leader at the Institute of Biochemistry of ETHZ in Zürich, (Switzerland) where he was then awarded the title of SNF/ETHZ Assistant Professor for Genome Stability. In October 2016 he joined the Instituto de Medicina Molecular João Lobo Antunes. As a Post Doctoral Fellow, Claus M. Azzalin discovered that mammalian telomeres are transcribed into the long noncoding RNA TERRA, a multifunctional transcript that has now been identified and characterized in a large number of eukaryotes. The CMAzzalin laboratory has dedicated intense efforts to understand the physiological and functional relevance of this long noncoding RNA in the context of telomere and genome stability in normal cells, as well as in cancer and aging cells. During his career, Claus M. Azzalin was awarded an EMBO Installation Grant (2017), a FCT Investigator Programme award (2016), an associate membership of ‘Epigenesys’ (2013), an EMBO Young Investigator Programme Award (2012), a Swiss National Science Foundation Professorship (2009), and a European Research Council starting grant (2009). Claus M. Azzalin is an Academic Editor for FEBS Letter.

About GiiN webinar series

The first GiiN Webinars Series (2021-2022) happens every second Tuesday of the month. It covers latest cutting-edge research in the field of genome stability from two scientists working either in the Italian territory or abroad. This series operates under the kind patronage of AIRC Italian Foundation for Cancer Research.

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