Navigation Links
Geneticist Svante Pääbo receives the $500,000 Gruber Genetics Prize

Svante Pbo, PhD, director of the Department of Genetics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, is the recipient of the 2013 Genetics Prize of The Gruber Foundation. Pbo is being honored with this prestigious international award for his pioneering research in the field of evolutionary genetics. He is considered the founder of molecular paleontology, the application of genetics to the study of prehistoric life.

The award will be presented to Pbo on April 16 at the International Congress of Genetics conference in Singapore, where he will also deliver a lecture entitled "Archaic Genomics."

"Svante Pbo's work shows basic science at its best. He was driven by an obvious passion to use DNA technology to unlock the past. He overcame seemingly insupperable technical obstacles. And he opened new vistas on a question we all care about, 'Where do we come from?' This is a wonderful award," said Maynard Olson, a member of the selection advisory board and 2007 laureate of the Gruber Genetics Prize.

Pbo, 57, started experimenting with extracting DNA from ancient human remains in the early 1980s while completing his PhD program in molecular immunology at the University of Uppsala in Sweden, his native country. His first major findingthe demonstration that DNA was preserved in a 2,400-year-old mummy of an infant boywas published as the cover story in Nature in 1985. In the ensuing two-and-a-half decadesat the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Munich and, since 1997, at the Max Planck Institute Pbo has played a leading role in developing the technology that has made it possible to isolate and sequence ancient DNA.

In 1997, Pbo announced the successful sequencing of mitochondrial Neandertal DNAa watershed in evolutionary genetics. In addition to proving that the DNA could be successfully extracted and sequenced from a 40,000-year-old fossil, the sequencing showed that Neandertals and humans were distinctly different groups. Over the next decade, with the help of new gene-sequencing technology, Pbo led efforts to sequence Neandertal's nuclear DNA. In 2010, he and his colleagues at the Max Planck Institute published the draft sequence of that genome, along with the startling finding that Neandertals have contributed up to 4 percent of the genetic material in modern humans. That same year, Pbo and his team reported a second remarkable finding: A DNA analysis of a finger bone found in 2008 in a Siberian cave showed that it had belonged to a previously unknown form of hominins. It was the first time an extinct hominin group had been identified by genetic analysis alone.

Pbo is also recognized as one of the world's leaders in human molecular evolution. He has, for example, played a critical role in defining the genetic relationship between humans and great ape populations. In addition, he has identified and studied the function of genes critically important in the evolution of the human species, such as FOXP2, which is associated with language development. In 2008, Pbo reported that Neandertals had an identical FOXP2 gene, which raised the tantalizing possibility that they may have had some language capabilities.

"Pbo's bold and exciting research has changed the way we understand human evolution and is providing insight into genes that are critical in the evolution of the human species," said Huda Zoghbi, chair of the Selection Advisory Board and the 2011 laureate of the Gruber Neuroscience Prize.


Contact: A. Sarah Hreha
Yale University

Related biology news :

1. National Academy of Sciences honors geneticist and biologist Sue Biggins
2. Geneticist develops tool to identify genes important in disease, tailoring individual treatment
3. Renowned geneticist R. Rodney Howell receives ACMG Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award
4. Artificial retina receives FDA approval
5. NTU Provost receives prestigious Imperial College fellowship joining the ranks of top UK scientists
6. Xenon Receives a Milestone Payment for Marketing Approval of Glybera in Europe
7. Brainwave "Balancing" Research Receives $1 Million Grant From The Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation, Inc.
8. Celladon Corporation Receives Notice of Allowance from United States Patent and Trademark Office
9. Univ. of Miami profs Chen and Soden named Fellows of AMS, Albrecht receives AMS Teaching Award
10. Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia receives federal grant to improve health care decision-making
11. Bloomberg School receives $28 million for family planning advocacy
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/29/2015)... health pioneer, Joseph C. Kvedar , MD, describes ... wellness, and the business opportunities that arise from it ... Healthy Things . Long before health and wellness ... vice president, Connected Health, Partners HealthCare, was creating a ... the hospital or doctor,s office into the day-to-day lives ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... YORK , Oct. 27, 2015 In ... major issues of concern for various industry verticals such ... is due to the growing demand for secure & ... in various ,sectors, such as hacking of bank accounts, ... for electronic equipment such as PC,s, laptops, and smartphones ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... October 26, 2015 ... adds Biometrics Market Shares, ... as well as Emerging Biometrics Technologies: ... to its collection of IT and ... . --> ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... - iCo Therapeutics ("iCo" or "the Company") (TSX-V: ICO) ... quarter ended September 30, 2015. Amounts, unless specified ... under International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS"). ... Andrew Rae , President & CEO of iCo ... value enriching for this clinical program, but also ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ:  AEZS) (TSX: AEZ) (the ... the Toronto Stock Exchange, confirms that as of the ... developments that would cause the recent movements in the ... --> About Aeterna Zentaris Inc. ... Aeterna Zentaris is a specialty biopharmaceutical company engaged in ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... This fall, global software ... events in five states to develop and pitch their BIG ideas to improve health ... state are competing for votes to win the title of SAP's Teen Innovator, an ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , November 24, 2015 ... market research report released by Transparency Market Research, the ... at a CAGR of 17.5% during the period between ... Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Volume, Share, Growth, ... non-invasive prenatal testing market to reach a valuation of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: