Seminar May 12: Nobel Laureate takes on “Superbugs”

Prof Sidney Altman has years’ worth of experience fighting “super-bugs”,

or antibiotic-resistant bacteria. On May 12 the Nobel laureate will come to Skoltech and share his insights into humanity’s biological nemesis – and how to stop it.

The seminar, titled «ANTIBIOTICS: PRESENT AND FUTURE», will present the need for new antibiotics which make use of an enzyme found in all cells that have a catalytic RNA sub-unit.
We’re honored to host this esteemed researcher from Yale University.

Registration required – please write by May 11 to:

The talk will be given in English

May 12, 2014

14.30 – 16.00
Beijing-1 Auditorium, China cluster
Skolkovo School of Management


There is an immediate need for new antibiotics as the prevalence of resistance to drugs is increasing worldwide and is a major cause of deaths among infected individuals.  A new antibiotic, useful against bacterial infections and malaria, makes use of an enzyme found in all cells that has a catalytic RNA subunit. The new antibiotic is much larger than those currently used and it can be a powerful therapy. Consequently, the pharmaceutical industry should change its view of making new drugs.


Prof Sidney Altman got the Nobel Prize jointly with Thomas R. Chech in Chemistry in 1989 for their discovery of catalytic properties of RNA.

He was born in Montreal, Canada, 1939.

His education includes:  B.S. MIT 1960, Physics; Ph.D. University of Colorado 1967, Biophysics; Postdoctoral fellow with M. Meselson

Professor Sidney Altman. Photo credit: Russian Academy of Sciences

Professor Sidney Altman. Photo credit: Russian Academy of Sciences

, Harvard University and S. Brenner and F. Crick, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK.

From 1985 till 1989 Professor Altman worked as Dean of Yale College. Since 1971 he has be working in Yale University.

The main research interests of Prof Altman include:  Molecular genetics of tRNA biosynthesis and the study of a catalytic RNA in both bacteria and human cells in tissue culture.,_%D1%E8%E4%ED%E5%E9


* The Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech) is a private graduate research university in Skolkovo, Russia, a suburb of Moscow. Established in 2011 in collaboration with MIT, Skoltech educates global leaders in innovation, advance scientific knowledge, and foster new technologies to address critical issues facing Russia and the world. Applying international research and educational models, the university integrates the best Russian scientific traditions with twenty-first century entrepreneurship and innovation.


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