Academy of Finland grants 5-year funding for the ENDFUNGI project

Academy of Finland has granted me the position of Academy Research Fellow to pursue the project “Ending the message: Unique molecular mechanism of mRNA poly(A) tail formation in yeast and pathogenic fungi”. Cells express genetic information by copying the DNA code into messenger RNA (mRNA), which in nucleated cells of animals and fungi receives a poly(A) tail that plays a crucial role in regulating gene expression. Notably, the process of poly(A) tail formation differs between animals and fungi, presenting an opportunity to develop drug compounds that selectively inhibit the growth of pathogenic fungal microbes.

Starting this fall, I will establish a new research lab within the Department of Life Technologies at the University of Turku. We will utilize gene technology tools, as well as novel biochemical and biophysical assays, to study poly(A) tail synthesis at a single molecule level with a time resolution of milliseconds. Our investigation will aim to define the molecular basis of this fundamental cellular process and pave the way for developing urgently needed antifungal compounds.

Matti Turtola