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 Investigator 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 was awarded the Guggenheim fellowship (1991), the Konex Platinum Award (2003), a chair from the Fundación Antorchas (2000-2008), the Bicentennial Medal (2010) and the Houssay Achieving Award in Chemistry, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2010). He serves the advisory boards of research institutes in Italy, India, South Africa and Uruguay and is a member or the National Committee on Ethics in Science and Technology of Argentina (CECTE). He supervised 13 PhD theses, organized 5 international scientific meetings, chaired sessions in Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory meetings, RNA Society and IUBMB meetings and gave more than 100 talks and plenary lectures in 20 countries of the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia. He is a member of the Board of Reviewing Editors of Science, Editor of IUBMB Life and member of the Editorial Board of Molecular and Cellular Biology. 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. In 2011 he received the Honorary Mention Domingo Faustino Sarmiento of the Argentine Senate, the Perfil prize to Intelligence, the prize Investigator of the Argentine Nation 2010, granted by the President of Argentina, and was elected foreign associate of the US National Academy of Sciences. In 2012 he was awarded the TWAS prize in Medical Sciences, granted by the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, was elected member of EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organization) and member of the National Academy of Sciences of Argentina. In 2013 he was awarded the Platinum Konex award in Molecular Biology and the Diamond Konex award as the most relevant scientist of the decade, ex aequo with the theoretical physicist Juan Martín Maldacena, and incorporated to the National Academy of Exact and Natural Sciences of Argentina.