2020 RNA Society Early- and Mid-Career Award Winners

The RNA Society is pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 RNA Society Early- and Mid-Career Awards. Please join us in congratulating the two award recipients at the RNA 2020 conference to be held May 26-31, 2020, in Vancouver, Canada.

2020 Mid-Career Award Winner

Jernej Ule, from UCL and The Francis Crick Institute in London, UK, is the recipient of this year’s Mid-Career Award. Jernej has been instrumental – initially during his PhD in the laboratory of Bob Darnell and then as Group Leader at the LMB – for the development of highly popular CLIP methods to study RNA-Protein and RNA-RNA interactions. These, in turn, have been essential to establish transcriptome-wide positional effects of regulatory factors in alternative splicing decisions (RNA Maps), including proteins involved in neurodegenerative disease. His group also established the widespread occurrence of recursive splicing in the mammalian brain and its regulation by exon junction complexes, as well as the key role that transposable elements play in shaping the evolution of post-transcriptional mechanisms. Jernej is a dedicated mentor and a generous contributor to the RNA community, including the organization of courses and workshops. He was nominated by Chris Smith.

2020 Early-Career Award Winner

Igor Ulitsky, from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, is the recipient of this year’s Early-Career Award. Originally trained as a computational biologist, Igor became interested in experimental biology and long non-coding RNAs during his postdoc in David Bartel’s lab. Since the establishment of his independent group six years ago, Igor has become a leader in studies to decipher the evolution, biological roles and mechanisms of lncRNAs. Igor’s contributions include the demonstration of the role of lncRNAs in neuron regeneration, the role of sequences enriched in Alu repeats in the nuclear localization of lncRNAs and how these molecules modulate the activity of RNA binding proteins such as Pumilio repressors. The group also develops high-throughput methods to assess function through RNA localization and a rich toolbox for the identification of lncRNA homologs. Igor has also generously contributed to spread the importance of the biology of non-coding RNAs by organizing workshops, meetings and courses.