DFBMC + IFIBYNE-CONICET, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales
Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Regulation of alternative mRNA splicing
The Kornblihtt lab works on the regulation of alternative pre-mRNA splicing, explaining how a single gene generates multiple proteins. We found that promoters affect alternative splicing through changes in transcriptional elongation and recruitment of splicing factors to the RNA polymerase. We also found how DNA damage and epigenetic chromatin changes modulate alternative splicing through its coupling with transcription.
Alberto R. Kornblihtt was born in 1954 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He graduated as a biologist (1977) from the School of Sciences (FCEN) of the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) and obtained a PhD in Biochemistry (UBA, 1980) at the Campomar Foundation, supervised by Héctor Torres. He did a post-doc (1981-1984) at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology in Oxford (UK) with Tito Baralle, where he cloned the human fibronectin gene and found its alternative splicing. He is Plenary Professor at the Department of Physiology, Molecular and Cell Biology (DFBMC) of the of the FCEN and Director of the Institute of Physiology, Molecular Biology and Neurosciences of the Argentine Research Council (IFIBYNE-CONICET) of Argentina. Since 2002 he is an International Research Scholar of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). He is a Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA and a member of EMBO. He serves the Board of Reviewing Editors of Science. He is also a member of the Argentine National Academies of Sciences and of Exact and Natural Sciences. He was awarded the Guggenheim fellowship (1991), the Konex Platinum Award (2003 and 2013), a chair from the Fundación Antorchas (2000-2008), the Bicentennial Medal (2010), the Houssay Achieving Award in Chemistry, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2010), the prize Investigator of the Argentine Nation (2010), granted by the President of Argentina, the Honorary Mention Domingo Faustino Sarmiento of the Argentine Senate (2011), the TWAS prize in Medical Sciences (2012) and the Diamond Konex award as the most relevant scientist of the decade of his country (2013), ex aequo with the theoretical physicist Juan Martín Maldacena. He serves the National Committee on Ethics in Science and Technology of Argentina (CECTE). He supervised 16 PhD theses, organized 5 international scientific meetings, chaired sessions in CSHL and RNA Society meetings and gave more than 150 talks and plenary lectures in 20 countries of the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia. He is Editor-in-Chief of the journal Transcription  and acted as President of the Argentine Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (SAIB) for the term 2010-2011.