Affiliation: Max Planck Research Group hosted by the MCB of the Jagiellonian University Krakow, PL
Keywords: Protein synthesis, tRNA modification, Structural biology, Crystallography, Electron microscopy, Protein/RNA Biochemistry, Neurodegenerative diseases
Sebastian Glatt, born in Vienna (AT), studied “Genetics and Microbiology” at the University of Vienna. During his PhD thesis at the pharmaceutical industry, he identified and characterized G-protein coupled receptors which are specifically up-regulated in certain cancer types. In 2008, he was awarded an interdisciplinary postdoc fellowship, which allowed him to join the Structural and Computational unit at EMBL Heidelberg. During this time, he transformed from a pure cell biologist into a structural biologist and protein biochemist. In addition to his own research projects as a postdoc and later staff scientist, he held several central positions of responsibility, which included chairing the EMBL postdoc association for 3 years (2009-2011), mentoring PhD and Master students, heading the high-throughput crystallization facility (2011-2015), and organizing courses and conferences. Since September 2015 he leads his own independent Max Planck Research Group hosted by the Malopolska Centre of Biotechnology of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. He established and maintains very fruitful scientific collaborations with labs in Poland, Germany, France, and Australia. He has published a number of research papers in highly prestigious scientific journals, including Nature, Cell and Nature Structural Molecular Biology. Most recently, he and his team received several prestigious grants, including the EMBO Installation Grant, the First Team and Homing grants from Foundation for Polish Science (FNP), and the Opus and Polonez grants from National Science Center (NCN). He is not only leading a research team of ~20 young scientists, but he is also a member of the MCB management board, organizer of various MCB seminar series, and coordinator of the MCB core facilities.
His career and scientific vision are clearly dominated by interdisciplinary and collaborative research projects, which are driven by his curiosity for a deeper mechanistic understanding of fundamental biological processes. In detail, his group is interested in the detailed structural and functional characterization of tRNA modification enzymes and other macromolecular complexes involved in the control of protein synthesis. These cellular mechanisms are not only highly conserved, vaguely characterized and extremely complex, but are also of high clinical relevance and importance. In detail, alterations of these modifications cascades lead to the onset of various neurodegenerative diseases, cancer and intellectual disabilities. The main experimental techniques include molecular biology, protein/RNA biochemistry, x-ray crystallography, electron microscopy and cell biology.