Sixth Arturo Falaschi Lecture

As every year, the Institute of Molecular Genetics of CNR organized a conference to commemorate the scientific and human figure of Arturo Falaschi, first Director of the Institute and a great scholar of the mechanisms that govern DNA replication. This event is part of the IGM-CNR contribution to the Course of Doctorate in Genetics, Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Pavia. The Sixth edition of the 'Arturo Falaschi Lecture' will be held by Professor Tomas Lindahl who, along with Paul Modrich and Aziz Sancar, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2015 for his studies on DNA repair mechanisms. The DNA is the molecule that contains the information necessary for the functioning of the cells and the organis. The information is stored in the sequence of 4 chemical letters, the nucleotides. Sequence alterations or breakage of the DNA molecule can have negative effects on the development and life of the organism. The integrity of the DNA molecule is constantly at risk by physical and chemical agents present within the cell, for example the free radicals produced during normal metabolism, or in the environment. To these the biochemical processes that involve the DNA molecule such as replication and transcription have to be added. Hence molecular mechanisms able to recognize the damage and repair it efficiently are essential. From the mid-seventies, through studies on bacteria, Tomas Lindahl has begun to address this problem by identifying enzymes that can remove and replace the damaged parts of the DNA. Its merit is to have founded a research field called the "DNA Repair", which now allows us to understand better the onset of cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and aging. Swedish-born Prof. Lindahl has been Director of the Imperial Cancer Research Laboratory in Clare Hall recently merged with the Francis Crick Institute in London. It is also a member of the IFOM (FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology) Scientific Council in Milan. The Prof. Lindahl Conference entitled: "The Intrinsic Fragility of Mammalian DNA and DNA ligases", will be on Thursday, March 24th at 11:00 am at the College "Alessandro Volta", University of Pavia, in Via Ferrata 17 in Pavia.