Endocrine Abstracts (2012) 29

The Fondation IPSEN Prize Winner



Paolo Sassone-Corsi, California, USA Abstract

Paolo Sassone-Corsi is Donald Bren Professor at the University of California, Irvine, where he is Director of the Center for Epigenetics and Metabolism. He is also External Member of the Max-Planck Institute, Germany. Paolo Sassone-Corsi is an internationally recognized leader in the field of genetics and cell biology. After his PhD in Italy, he has spent time in France and at the Salk Institute (San Diego, CA). He started his research group in Strasbourg, France, where he was Director of Research, before moving back to California in 2006. Early in his career he became fascinated by the world of DNA and gene expression, a field that was beginning to be unraveled at the time, and that he felt had to embody all fundamental facets of cellular and organismal physiology. His research on the regulation of gene expression has been essential to elucidate a remarkable variety of molecular mechanisms, all highly relevant to the fields of endocrinology, neuroscience, metabolism and cancer. All organisms adapt to the environment by readjusting their physiology and metabolism. This plasticity includes chromatin remodeling and epigenetic reprogramming and leads to changes in the activity of genes. Epigenetic processes demonstrate that there is much more to the genome than DNA sequence, permitting plasticity beyond the double helix. The work by Paolo Sassone-Corsi during the past 20 years has been influential and trend-setting, leading to many awards, including the EMBO Gold Medal, the highest recognition for a European molecular biologist. He has been also awarded the Charles-Leopold Meyer Prize of the Academie des Sciences (Paris), the Edwin Astwood Award and the Roy O. Greep Award of the Endocrine Society (USA), the CNRS Medal (France), the Grand Prix Bettencourt for Medical Research and the Endocrine Prize of the Ipsen Foundation.

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