Peter Baumann (biologist)

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Peter Baumann (* 1969 ) is a German cell and molecular biologist.

Baumann studied at the Universities of Bayreuth and Cambridge and received his doctorate in 1998 from University College London (Clare Hall Laboratories) with a dissertation on DNA repair. As a post-doctoral student , he worked from 2000 at the University of Colorado at Boulder with Thomas R. Cech , where his research on telomerase began. He has been in Kansas City since 2002, where he became Assistant in 2004, Associate in 2009 and Professor in 2014 at the Kansas Medical Center and the Stowers Institute for Medical Research and researched for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (from 2009 as Early Career Scientist and from 2013 as Howard Hughes Investigator). In 2017 he received a Humboldt Professorship at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz at the Institute for Molecular Biology, which he co-heads as Adjunct Director. In 2019 Baumann was elected to the European Molecular Biology Organization .

He researches aging processes in cells and their regulation, especially telomerase . He identified the gene for the RNA component of telomerase in yeast, the part that telomerase uses to bind to telomere. The discovery also created a new avenue for RNA processing. He also discovered a protein (Pot 1, for Protection of Telomers ) that was essential for protecting the telomere by binding to its ends. It was first discovered in yeast and bacteria, but is also found in higher forms of life and in mammals.

He was also able to explain why, although there were many DNA repair enzymes at the ends of telomeres, they did not inadvertently connect the ends of chromosomes. The chromosome was protected from this by a protein complex that protected even very short telomeres of 12 DNA repeats.

Baumann also examined lizards of the species Aspidocescelis tesselata , which reproduce sexlessly , and was able to partially clarify why the genetic diversity is not lost in the process.

Fonts (selection)

  • with Cech: Pot-1, the putative telomere end-binding protein in fission yeast and humans, Science, Volume 292, 2001, pp. 1171-1775

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