July 16, 2014

Erwin Schrödinger Prize for Denise Barlow

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With great pleasure we announce that Denise Barlow, Principal Investigator at CeMM and Honorary Professor of Genetics at the University of Vienna, has received the Erwin Schrödinger Prize 2014 for lifetime achievements. The Erwin Schrödinger Prize is an annual award presented by the Austrian Academy of Sciences for lifetime achievement in the fields of mathematics and natural sciences. This prize is the most prestigious award of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and was established in 1958.

This recognition is very well-deserved. Denise Barlow's contributions to the field of mammalian genetics as well as to Austrian research are exceptional. She is a world-leading expert in epigenetic mechanisms operating in development and disease. We congratulate Denise!

In 1991, the Barlow group discovered the first mammalian imprinted gene (Igf2r) and since then, has uncovered many details of the imprinting mechanism and promoted its use as an epigenetic gene-regulatory model. Her laboratory has shown that an unusual and very long non-coding RNA (lncRNA), a macro ncRNA, induces imprinted gene expression. More recently, her laboratory has also shown that transcription, independent of the lncRNA product, is the mechanisms that silences the Igf2r gene. The focus of her work currently is to understand the epigenetic processes by which these unusual macro-ncRNAs induce gene silencing in imprinted clusters and in the wider mouse and human genomes.