The Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research (FMI) is part of the Novartis Research Foundation and is a world-class center for basic research in life sciences based in Basel, Switzerland. The FMI is devoted to the pursuit of fundamental biomedical research. Areas of expertise are: In these fields the FMI has gained international recognition as a center of excellence in innovative biomedical research. Research is carried out in 22 independent but highly interactive research teams. In addition, seven technology platforms, ranging from functional genomics to microscopy and imaging, support the research activities with cutting-edge technology. As of 2011, the institute counts 320 collaborators of which 90 are postgraduate students participating in the FMI International PhD Program, 100 are postdoctoral collaborators and 22 are research group leaders. Since 2004, the institute is led by Susan M. Gasser. in chronological order The FMI is an affiliated institute of the University of Basel. It provides biomedical research and career training for over 90 PhD students. FMI selects its highly international student body during a twice-yearly interview-based selection program.

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How proteins bind 'hidden' DNA

How can proteins bind DNA in the cell nucleus, where it is present in form of chromatin, tightly wrapped around histones and therefore mostly inaccessible? Recently, several studies began to uncover the various strategies ...

When two worlds meet: A protease that controls small RNA activity

The protection of genome integrity of germ cells is essential for animal fertility. Researchers from the Grosshans group characterized a defense mechanism against selfish genetic elements in the C. elegans germline. They ...

New-found molecular signature keeps key genes ready for action

During development, scores of molecular signals prod cells to take on specialized identities and functions. In response to some of these signals, the cellular machinery awakens specific genes called 'immediate early genes' ...

Chromatin remodelers never rest to keep our genome open

Chromatin remodelers are needed to take nucleosomes away from DNA in order to make room for transcription factors to bind, and regulate the activity of our genes. It has been unclear how dynamic this process is. Researchers ...

Protecting the genome from transposon activation

Transposons are foreign DNA elements capable of random insertion into the genome, an event that can be very dangerous for a cell. Their activity must be silenced to maintain genomic integrity, which is primarily achieved ...

Thinking afresh about how cells respond to stress

Just like people, cells get stressed too. A sudden drop in oxygen, overheating, or toxins can trigger a cascade of molecular changes that lead cells to stop growing, produce stress-protective factors, and form stress granules—proteins ...

Intestinal regeneration: Lessons from organoid research

The last decade has seen a boom in the field of organoids, miniature organs grown from stem cells in vitro. These systems recapitulate the cell type composition and numerous functions of parent organs—such as brain, kidney, ...

Histone degradation after DNA damage enhances repair

DNA damage can occur anywhere in the genome, but most DNA is wrapped around nucleosomes making it inaccessible to the repair machinery. Researchers from the Gasser group now show that DNA damage induces histone depletion, ...

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