Lynne E. Maquat
J. Lowell Orbison Endowed Chair and Professor of Biochemistry & Biophysics who holds concomitant appointments in Pediatrics and in Oncology, Founding Director of the Center for RNA Biology, and Founding Chair of Graduate Women in Science at the University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, USA. After obtaining her PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and undertaking post-doctoral work at the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, she joined Roswell Park Cancer Institute before moving to the University of Rochester. In 1981, Professor Maquat discovered nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) in mammalian cells and, subsequently while elucidating the mechanism of NMD, the exon-junction complex (EJC) and how the EJC marks mRNAs for a quality-control “pioneer” round of protein synthesis. She also discovered Staufen-mediated mRNA decay, which mechanistically competes with NMD and, by so doing, new roles for short interspersed elements and long non-coding RNAs. Additional current interests include microRNA decay, mechanisms by which cells utilize NMD and SMD to adapt to developmental and environmental changes, how transposable elements have been co-opted by cells to regulate gene expression, functional links between transcription factors and RNA-binding proteins, and developing therapeutics by targeting RNA. Professor Maquat is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2006), and an elected Member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (2006), the National Academy of Sciences (2011), and the National Academy of Medicine (2017). She was a Batsheva de Rothschild Fellow of the Israel Academy of Sciences & Humanities (2012-2013) and has received the William C. Rose Award from the American Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (2014), a Canada Gairdner International Award (2015), the international RNA Society Lifetime Achievement Award in Service (2010) and in Science (2017), the Vanderbilt Prize in Biomedical Science (2017), the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) Excellence in Science Award (2018), the Wiley Prize in Biomedical Sciences (2018), the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Medal (2019), and the Wolf Prize in Medicine from the Wolf Foundation in Israel (2021).