The editorial board of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) has awarded the prestigious Cozzarelli Prize to a scientific article by John J. Rossi, Ph.D., Lidow Family Research Chair, and City of Hope graduate school alum Daniel Kim, Ph.D. The paper was one of six chosen from nearly 3,500 research papers published by PNAS in 2008.
|John Rossi, right, and Daniel Kim co-authored a paper that received the prestigious Cozzarelli Prize from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (Photo by Paula Meyers)|
The prize-winning article investigated how short segments of RNA, called microRNA, control the expression of genes.
“I am very pleased to receive the 2008 Cozzarelli Prize from the PNAS editorial board, and I am honored to have our research acknowledged by this esteemed group,” said Rossi, chair of the Department of Molecular Biology and dean of the Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences. “We believe that our research will allow us to better understand the role that microRNA plays in turning genes on and off and help us work towards developing targeted therapies for genetic diseases.”
In the journal paper, titled “MicroRNA-directed transcriptional gene silencing in mammalian cells,” the researchers found that microRNA plays a larger part in turning on and off genes in the nucleus of a cell than previously believed.
MicroRNA acts as a regulator in cells and plays a role in keeping activated genes in control of the cell’s functions.
The researchers also discovered that microRNA can target and silence genes in the nucleus of cells, much earlier in the process of decoding genes than previously known. (See Nov. 10, 2008, Hope News for full story on the research.)
The Cozzarelli Prize, awarded annually, acknowledges recently published papers that reflect scientific excellence and originality. The award was established in 2005 and renamed the Cozzarelli Prize in 2007 to honor late PNAS Editor-in-Chief Nicholas R. Cozzarelli. This year’s awards were presented at the PNAS Editorial Board Meeting on April 26 in Washington, D.C.