Dr. Ben Berkhout awarded Retrovirology Prize for contribution to HIV research

December 11, 2008

Dr Ben Berkhout, a retrovirologist from the Netherlands, has been awarded the 2008 M Jeang Retrovirology Prize. He was honoured for his multi-disciplinary approach to RNA research which has provided additional important building blocks for many aspects of our current knowledge on HIV-1 replication. Dr Berkhout's research has extended our insights into the mechanisms of transcription, reverse transcription, drug-resistance, and RNA interference.

In an interview published today in BioMed Central's open access journal Retrovirology, Dr Berkhout, who is Professor and Head of the Laboratory of Experimental Virology at the University of Amsterdam, and Associate Editor of Retrovirology, discusses his 20-year career.

"It really is a fantastic surprise. As editorial board member of Retrovirology, I know from previous years how fierce the competition is for the Retrovirology Prize. It is rather enjoyable being recognized at this level by my colleagues."

The Retrovirology Prize, awarded annually, recognises an outstanding mid-career retrovirologist aged 45 to 60. The prize, which consists of a $3,000 cheque and a crystal trophy, is partly sponsored by the Ming K. Jeang Foundation and alternates between HIV and non-HIV research. Last year's winner was Dr Karen Beemon, Professor and Chair of the Biology Department, Johns Hopkins University.

The M Jeang Retrovirology Prize winner is selected by Retrovirology's Editors from nominations submitted by the journal's Editorial Board.

Editor-in-Chief of Retrovirology, Kuan-Teh Jeang explained why they awarded Professor Berkhout with the Retrovirology prize. "Dr Berkhout has been a leader in our understanding of RNA-based gene regulation. His work with TAR RNA has been revolutionary."
-end-
Notes to Editors:

1. The interview with Dr. Ben Berkhout can be viewed on the Retrovirology website: http://www.retrovirology.com/content/pdf/1742-4690-5-113.pdf

Please name the journal in any story you write. If you are writing for the web, please link to the article. All articles are available free of charge, according to BioMed Central's open access policy.

2. Dr Berkhout studied molecular biology at Leiden University, and obtained his PhD in 1986 at the same university investigating the regulation of gene expression in RNA bacteriophages. He performed postdoctoral research at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute of the Harvard Medical School in the field of molecular immunology, and initiated his HIV-1 research at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda.

In 1991, upon return to the Netherlands, Dr Berkhout began his own research line and has been at the Academic Medical Center (AMC) of the University of Amsterdam since then. He became Head of the Laboratory of Experimental Virology in 2002 and was appointed as Professor of Human Retrovirology in 2003.

3. Retrovirology (www.retrovirology.com) is a stringently peer-reviewed journal edited by Kuan-Teh Jeang (USA), Monsef Benkirane (France), Ben Berkhout (the Netherlands), Masahiro Fujii (Japan), Michael Lairmore (USA), Andrew Lever (UK), and Mark Wainberg (Canada) with the assistance of an internationally renowned Editorial Board. Retrovirology is an Open Access, online journal that publishes articles on basic retrovirus research. Retrovirology has an Impact Factor of 4.04.

4. BioMed Central (www.biomedcentral.com) is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the open access publishing model. All peer-reviewed research articles published by BioMed Central are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BioMed Central is part of Springer Science+Business Media, a leading global publisher in the STM sector.

BioMed Central

Related RNA Articles from Brightsurf:

A new RNA catalyst from the lab
On the track of evolution: a catalytically active RNA molecule that specifically attaches methyl groups to other RNAs - a research group from the University of Würzburg reports on this new discovery in Nature.

Small RNA as a central player in infections
The most important pathogenicity factors of the gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori are centrally regulated by a small RNA molecule, NikS.

RNA as a future cure for hereditary diseases
ETH Zurich scientists have developed an RNA molecule that can be used in bone marrow cells to correct genetic errors that affect protein production.

Bringing RNA into genomics
By studying RNA-binding proteins, a research consortium known as ENCODE (Encyclopedia of DNA Elements) has identified genomic sites that appear to code for RNA molecules that influence gene expression.

RNA key in helping stem cells know what to become
If every cell has the same genetic blueprint, why does an eye cell look and act so differently than a brain cell or skin cell?

RNA structures by the thousands
Researchers from Bochum and Münster have developed a new method to determine the structures of all RNA molecules in a bacterial cell at once.

New kind of CRISPR technology to target RNA, including RNA viruses like coronavirus
Researchers in the lab of Neville Sanjana, PhD, at the New York Genome Center and New York University have developed a new kind of CRISPR screen technology to target RNA.

Discovery of entirely new class of RNA caps in bacteria
The group of Dr. Hana Cahová of the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS, in collaboration with scientists from the Institute of Microbiology of the CAS, has discovered an entirely new class of dinucleoside polyphosphate 5'RNA caps in bacteria and described the function of alarmones and their mechanism of function.

New RNA mapping technique shows how RNA interacts with chromatin in the genome
A group led by scientists from the RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences (IMS) in Japan have developed a new method, RADICL-seq, which allows scientists to better understand how RNA interacts with the genome through chromatin--the structure in which the genome is organized.

Characterising RNA alterations in cancer
The largest and most comprehensive catalogue of cancer-specific RNA alterations reveals new insights into the cancer genome.

Read More: RNA News and RNA Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.