Editorial Oliver Mühlemann - The Messenger No. 4

Dear colleagues,

I am glad to see how well by now our Newsletter has established itself as a source of valuable information for both the NCCR researchers and people generally interested in our work. In continuing along these lines, this issue provides insights into the history, the different applications and future potential of oligonucleotides as drugs. Jonathan Hall shares with us his vast knowledge, experience and opinions regarding the use of oligonucleotide to treat diseases.

Working abroad, building a worldwide professional network and getting inspiration from scientifically thriving places is an integral part of every scientific career and the SNF doctoral mobility grants that can be applied for through the NCCR offers exactly these opportunities. Mobility grant awardee Melanie Jambeau told us her experience of conducting a part of her PhD at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

The core business of our NCCR is and remains innovative and high quality research, and in this context it is gratifying to follow the constant stream of publications emerging from our labs. Two of the recent publications are featured in this issue of The Messenger. The first is from the lab of Markus Stoffel reporting in Nature Communications how vigilin promotes fat release from the liver by enhancing the translation of the mRNA encoding ApoB. The second is from the lab of Mariusz Nowacki reporting in Cell about a ciliate species that uses a genetic code lacking stop codons, which raises the question how the position of translation termination is defined on mRNAs in this organism.

I hope that these teasers triggered your appetite – enjoy your reading!

Oliver Mühlemann
Director NCCR RNA & Diseas