Editorial Ramesh Pillai - The Messenger No. 8

Dear colleagues,

It is my pleasure to introduce the latest issue of The Messenger. One major highlight is an interview with Chuan He who travels back in time to lead us through the original discovery of m6A RNA methylation in the 1970s by others, and how work from his lab in 2011 reignited interest in this mark. Rapid progress in this field has now entrenched the m6A modification of RNA as a key regulatory mechanism in organisms ranging from yeast to plants and humans. As a network, we have grown over the Phase I of the program and now entering Phase II, where we are even stronger and enriched by the increased number of participating labs. Collaborations between members have increased, as measured by the increasing number of joint publications. To a good measure, this is fostered by the Lab Exchange program of the NCCR that funds collaborative visits to labs within the network. My own lab hosted students in this context and we all found it a very enjoyable experience. Great scientific achievements have been made at the individual level by our members, but together as a network, we can claim to represent some of the best research in RNA biology. A recognition of this comes in the form of the prestigious Otto Naegeli prize conferred on Nenad Ban for his work on the protein synthesis machinery. Numerous other accolades received by our members and research stories are mentioned in this newsletter. Great emphasis is placed on disease mechanisms in the Phase II of the NCCR operations, so exciting times lie ahead. Enjoy reading.