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Minority Reporting: Tools that crack unconventional signaling codes


Event details

Date and time 23.05.2019 17:1519:00  
Place and room
Speaker Prof. Yimon Aye, ISIC - Inaugural Lecture
Category Inaugural lectures - Honorary Lecture

To coordinate responses and maintain fitness, different functional units within the cell must communicate. Such dialog often occurs through small-molecule mediators.  But just as words can vary in meaning, depending on context, locale, and language, small-molecule chemical signals are varied, and can trigger manifold responses that require context to be understood. I will present how we have engineered multifunctional tools that can dissect some of the most challenging cellular communication networks. I will highlight our recent discovery underlying how the replication machinery is repurposed by a native chemical signal to promote tumor suppression (2018 Nature Chemical Biology), and how reactive native chemical signals—once thought to be too highly promiscuous to convey a message—pick out precise protein targets to regulate cell survival (2017 Nature Chemical Biology). I will show how such processes can be used for cancer-subtype specific cell killing in culture and in mice.
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Bio: Born and raised in Burma, Yimon Aye achieved her undergraduate degree in Chemistry at the University of Oxford (UK) and PhD degree in Physical Sciences at Harvard University (USA). She received her postdoc training in Life Sciences at MIT (USA) as a Damon Runyon cancer research fellow. In her independent career that began mid-2012, Yimon Aye set out to understand the detailed mechanisms of electrophile signaling. This impetus culminated in the development of “REX” technologies (T-REX™ delivery and G-REX™ profiling). In a parallel research program, she studies pathways involved in genome maintenance and nucleotide signaling, including the mechanisms of anticancer drugs in clinical use. In Autumn 2018, she and her team members established the Laboratory of Electrophiles and Genome Operation (LEAGO) at EPFL



Practical information

  • General public
  • Registration required
  • This event is internal


  • School of Basic Sciences


  • Hélène Laurens