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23Feb 2018

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NVBMB-Prize for researcher Tineke Lenstra

Tineke Lenstra

Molecular biologist and junior group leader Tineke Lenstra has been awarded the NVBMB-prize 2018 by the Netherlands Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, for her work on DNA transcription. The jury rates Dr. Lenstra as a very talented molecular biologist with an excellent track record and international reputation. Each year, the NVBMB acknowledges the work of a highly talented young Dutch biochemist or molecular biologist with at least two years of postdoctoral experience.

Part of the prize will be a symposium about her work that Tineke may organize. Then she will officially receive the prize. This symposium will take place on 12 September 2018 in the Netherlands Cancer Institute. 

Imaging bursts of activity in DNA transcription

The aim of the Lenstra lab is to understand the dynamics and regulation of transcription. Transcription, the process where DNA is copied to RNA to eventually form proteins, is often not continuous in time, but happens in bursts of high activity, followed by periods of inactivity. These bursts result in variability between cells, which can influence cell fate decisions and disease progression. Even though transcriptional bursting is conserved from bacteria to yeast to human cells, the origin and regulators of bursting remain largely unknown. Our lab uses cutting-edge single-molecule RNA imaging techniques to directly observe and measure transcriptional bursting in living cells. Our imaging techniques are combined with genetic targeting approaches to reveal how bursting is regulated at the molecular level and how different bursting patterns affect the heterogeneity and fitness of the organism.

In 2017, Lenstra received a Starting Grant from the European Research Council (ERC).


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