Professor Julian Stingele researches about mechanisms that play a role in the repair of DNA. The DNA is exposed to strong stresses that can damage it and cause diseases such as cancer. In addition, that can promote premature aging. But it's not just external influences that cause damage to the DNA. Also substances produced by the body itself, such as formaldehyde - which is created in mammalian cells during normal metabolism as an intermediate product - are damaging the DNA. As a result, proteins can stick to it - resulting in so-called cross-links, which prevent the replication of DNA.
Stingele has discovered a completely unexpected mechanism of DNA repair that exists in yeast-to-human organisms and is crucial for preventing aging and tumorigenesis. This new repair mechanism destroys highly toxic covalent DNA-protein compounds and is essential for the viability of our cells. This finding has far-reaching implications for the understanding of carcinogenesis because it suggests that the DNA-protein compounds are essential in promoting endogenous genome instability. In his laboratory, Stingele now focuses on identifying the cellular processes that underlie the formation of DNA-protein compounds. To this end, he pursues a very interdisciplinary strategy, encompassing various biochemical and genetic engineering approaches as well as the use of functional assays in human cells and advanced imaging techniques. "The Bayer Early Excellence in Science Award inspires my employees and me to continue our research. It's a fantastic honor to receive this award, "says Stingele.
Born in Stuttgart, he studied biology at the University of Konstanz and received his doctorate at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Planegg-Martinsried. Before his call to LMU, he spent almost three years at the London Francis Crick Institute.
Each year, the Bayer Science & Education Foundation awards the Bayer Early Excellence in Science Award to biologists, chemists and medical scientists who have completed their doctorate five years ago. Nevertheless, through their research contributions they have already visibly contributed to new findings. There is a prize money of 10,000 euros per category.