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Molecular Translator: RNA Research Topic for Nov. 14 Hansen Seminar

Thursday, Nov. 08, 2012

Anna Marie Pyle speaks at USU

Anna Marie Pyle, William Edward Gilbert Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at Yale University, is lecturer for the USU Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry's 2012 Hansen Seminar. Pyle speaks Nov. 14, at 4 p.m. in ESLC 046.

crystal structure of a Group II Intron

Image showing crystal structure of a Group II Intron, a type of long noncoding RNA, captured by Pyle's lab. Illustration by Kevin Keating, Yale.

Along with DNA, ribonucleic acid or “RNA” enables transfer of genetic information from generation to generation of cells in all living organisms. DNA and RNA — the latter a family of large molecules with nuanced variations — guide proteins in dictating all cell structures and functions.

Wednesday, Nov. 14, Utah State University welcomes renowned RNA researcher Anna Marie Pyle to campus to share cutting-edge research revealing new chemical mechanisms and explanation of gene expression and regulation.

Pyle, William Edward Gilbert Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and professor of chemistry at Yale University, is featured lecturer for the USU Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry’s 2012 R. Gaurth Hansen Seminar. She presents “Structure and Mechanism of Group II Introns: Model Systems for Exploring the Architecture of Long Noncoding RNAs” at 4 p.m. in Room 046 of the Eccles Science Learning Center.

Pyle’s talk is free and open to all.

After years of developing models to describe Group II Introns, Pyle and her research team used x-ray crystallography to generate a detailed picture of an intron from a deep-sea dwelling bacterium that thrives in extreme conditions.

“The new structure revealed a wealth of RNA interactions that we never even dreamed about,” Pyle says. “I look forward to sharing this process and our findings with USU scientists.”

In addition to her Yale appointment, Pyle serves as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. She is a recipient of the New York City Mayor’s Award of Excellence in Science and Technology.

Pyle is the ninth annual Hansen Seminar speaker. The seminar series honors the late R. Gaurth Hansen, a USU alum who joined the university’s faculty in 1968. A nationally respected biochemist, Hansen served for 16 years as an academic vice president and as Distinguished Professor of Nutrition and Food Sciences and Chemistry/Biochemistry at Utah State. He was named USU Distinguished Professor Emeritus in 1985.

The Hansen seminar series is made possible by an endowment established by William Rutter, co-founder and former chairman of the board of the Chiron Corporation.

For more information about the seminar, contact USU’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at 435-797-1619.

Related links:

USU Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

USU College of Science

Contact: Sean Johnson, 435-797-2089,

Writer: Mary-Ann Muffoletto, 435-797-3517,

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