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Professor Anthony A. Hyman visited the Institute of Biophysics (IBP) and gave a Bei Shizhang Lecture

Updated: 2024-02-04

Professor Anthony A. Hyman, director of the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (MPI-CBG), was invited by IBP to give a seminar entitled Biomolecular condensates and their implications for cell physiology on Jan 18, 2024. In order to enable researchers and students from IBP and other institutes to share this master-level academic report, IBP conducted live broadcasting of the lecture.


Prof. Anthony A. Hyman is a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization and a fellow of the Royal Society UK. His most important achievement was the discovery that biological macromolecules such as proteins and RNA could form liquid-like compartments called "condensates" by phase separation. This discovery provides a new direction for the diagnosis and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS. For his outstanding contributions in the field of life sciences, he won a series of prizes such as the Breakthrough Prize in life sciences.


In this seminar, Prof. Hyman discussed the potential roles of phase separation in organization and robustness of cellular biochemistry and how they fail in disease. Cells organize many of their biochemical reactions by formation and dissolution of nonmembrane-bound compartments. Prof. Hyman first showed that one common mechanism for such biochemical organization is phase separation of disordered proteins to form liquid like compartments. These compartments which were termed condensates can subsequently harden to form compartments with new material properties such as gels and glasses. Then, Prof. Hyman introduced their work on C.elegans P granules. They found that non-membrane compartments such as P granules have liquid-like properties, and phase separation phenomena can be used to describe the formation of P granules. Finally, Prof. Hyman pointed out that phase separation can help us to understand how the extremely complex homeostasis in cells is maintained. Prof. Hyman showed many proteins such as FUS and TDP-43 form condensates linked to neurodegenerative diseases like ALS and Alzheimer.


After the presentation, Prof. Hyman had a lively discussion with the audience and answered various questions. The lecture came to a successful conclusion with a sound of applause.


Prof. Anthony A. Hyman was giving the lecture


Academician Hong Zhang hosted the lecture


The audience


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