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Event Detail (Archived)

Mechanisms of Chromatin Transcription

The Jerry A. Weisbach Memorial Lecture

Event Details

Friday Lecture Series
Patrick Cramer, Ph.D., director, department of molecular biology, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry

The Cramer laboratory combines integrated structural biology with functional genomics and computational biology to study the mechanisms of gene transcription and its regulation in a chromatin context. In a long-term effort, the lab arrived at mechanistic insights into transcription initiation at promoters of protein-coding genes. The lab also reported the molecular basis for understanding transcription regulation at the step of elongation of the mRNA chain in the promoter-proximal region. These processes depend on multiple phosphorylation events, and such phosphorylation may control the partitioning of RNA polymerase II between different nuclear condensates. To complement the structural studies, the lab also developed transient transcriptome sequencing (TT-seq), which monitors RNA synthesis and regulatory enhancer landscapes at high temporal resolution. In recent work, the lab has combined functional genomics and kinetic modeling to derive kinetic insights into transcriptional regulation genome-wide. In his presentation, Dr. Cramer will concentrate on the most recent findings and unpublished data on transcription regulation in a chromatin context. He will provide insights into the mechanisms of how a pioneer transcription factor, Sox2, invades the nucleosome, how a chromatin remodeling complex of the SWI/SNF family establishes a mature nucleosome-depleted region, and how Pol II may progress through nucleosomes.

Patrick Cramer’s goal is to understand the molecular mechanisms of gene transcription and the cellular principles underlying transcription regulation on a systems level. His group uses structural biology, including cryo-electron microscopy, x-ray crystallography, and crosslinking-mass spectrometry, to elucidate the three-dimensional architecture of large macromolecular complexes. They also employ functional assays to provide mechanistic insights, and functional genomics and computational biology to unravel the principles of genomic regulation. Dr. Cramer established the structural basis of eukaryotic transcription initiation and elongation, and he has developed new approaches to investigate transcription regulation genome-wide in living cells.

Dr. Cramer studied chemistry as an undergrad at the Universities of Stuttgart and Heidelberg in Germany. He was a research student at the University of Bristol and at Cambridge in the U.K. and received a diploma in chemistry in 1995 from the University of Heidelberg. His doctorate is from the University of Heidelberg and EMBL Grenoble in France in 1998, where he was a member of C.W. Müller’s lab. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford from 1999 to 2001 with R.D. Kornberg. Dr. Cramer was a faculty member of the University of Munich from 2001 to 2014 and has been a director in the department of molecular biology at the Max Planck Institute of Biophysical Chemistry since 2014.

Justin Sloboda
(212) 327-7785
Open to
Seth Darst
Refreshments, 3:15 p.m. - 3:45 p.m., Abby Lounge
Justin Sloboda
(212) 327-7785

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