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Thomas Robert Cech (born December 8, 1947) is an American chemist who shared the 1989 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Sidney Altman, for their discovery of the catalytic properties of RNA. Cech discovered that RNA could itself cut strands of RNA, suggesting that life might have started as RNA. He also studied telomeres, and his lab discovered an enzyme, TERT (telomerase reverse transcriptase), which is part of the process of restoring telomeres after they are shortened during cell division. As president of Howard Hughes Medical Institute, he promoted science education, and he teaches an undergraduate chemistry course at the University of Colorado.

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Cech was born to parents of Czech origin (his grandfather was Czech, his other grandparents were first-generation Americans) in Chicago, he grew up in Iowa City, Iowa. In junior high school, he knocked on the doors of geology professors at the University of Iowa, and asked them to discuss crystal structures, meteorites and fossils.

A National Merit Scholar, Cech entered Grinnell College in 1966. There he studied Homer's Odyssey, Dante's Inferno, constitutional history and chemistry. He married his organic chemistry lab partner, Carol Lynn Martinson, and graduated with a B.A. in 1970.

In 1975, Cech completed his PhD in Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley and in the same year, he entered the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he engaged in postdoctoral research. In 1978, he obtained his first faculty position at the University of Colorado where he lectured undergraduate students in chemistry and biochemistry, and where he remains on the faculty, currently as Distinguished Professor in the Department of Biochemistry. In 2000, Cech succeeded Purnell Choppin as president of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Maryland. He also continued to head his biochemistry laboratory at the University of Colorado, Boulder. On April 1, 2008, Cech announced that he would step down as the president of HHMI, to return to teaching and research, in spring 2009. Returning to Boulder, Cech became the first Executive Director of the BioFrontiers Institute, a position he held until 2020. He also taught General Chemistry to freshmen.

Cech's main research area is that of the process of transcription in the nucleus of cells. He studies how the genetic code of DNA is transcribed into RNA. In the 1970s, Cech had been studying the splicing of RNA in the unicellular organism Tetrahymena thermophila when he discovered that an unprocessed RNA molecule could splice itself. In 1982, Cech became the first to show that RNA molecules are not restricted to being passive carriers of genetic information – they can have catalytic functions and can participate in cellular reactions. RNA-processing reactions and protein synthesis on ribosomes in particular are catalysed by RNA. RNA enzymes are known as ribozymes and have provided a new tool for gene technology. They also have the potential to provide new therapeutic agents – for example, they have the ability to destroy and cleave invading, viral RNAs.

Cech's second area of research is on telomeres, the structure that protects the ends of chromosomes. Telomeres are shortened with every duplication of DNA, and must be lengthened again. He studies telomerase, the enzyme that copies the telomeric sequences and lengthens them. The active site protein subunits of telomerase comprise a new class of reverse transcriptases, enzymes previously thought to be restricted to viruses and transposable elements. Telomerase is activated in 90% of human cancers. Therefore, a drug that would inhibit its activity could be useful in treating cancer.

Cech's work has been recognised by many awards and prizes including: lifetime Professorship by the American Cancer Society (1987), the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize from Columbia University (1988), the Heineken Prize of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences (1988), the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award (1988), the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1989, shared with Sidney Altman), the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement in 1990 and the National Medal of Science (1995). In 1987, Cech was elected to the United States National Academy of Sciences and in 1988 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Cech was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 2001. In 2007, he received the Othmer Gold Medal for outstanding contributions to progress in chemistry and science.

  1. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1989: Illustrated Presentation
  2. Telomeres, Telomerase, and Other Noncoding RNAs, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, July 13, 2010
  3. Nobel autobiography. Nobelprize.org. Retrieved on 2013-10-22.
  4. HHMI News: Thomas R. Cech to Step Down as HHMI President. Hhmi.org (2008-04-01). Retrieved on 2013-10-22.
  5. "Golden Plate Awardees of the American Academy of Achievement". www.achievement.org. American Academy of Achievement.
  6. National Science Foundation – The President's National Medal of Science. Nsf.gov. Retrieved on 2013-10-22.
  7. "Thomas R. Cech". www.nasonline.org. RetrievedOctober 11, 2021.
  8. "Thomas Robert Cech". American Academy of Arts & Sciences. RetrievedOctober 11, 2021.
  9. "APS Member History". search.amphilsoc.org. RetrievedOctober 11, 2021.
  10. "Othmer Gold Medal". Science History Institute. May 31, 2016. RetrievedMarch 22, 2018.
  11. Gussman, Neil (February 7, 2007). "Chemical Heritage Foundation to Present 2007 Othmer Gold Medal to Thomas Cech". PR Newswire. RetrievedJune 12, 2014.
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Thomas Cech Article Talk Language Watch Edit 160 160 Redirected from Thomas R Cech Thomas Robert Cech born December 8 1947 is an American chemist who shared the 1989 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Sidney Altman for their discovery of the catalytic properties of RNA Cech discovered that RNA could itself cut strands of RNA suggesting that life might have started as RNA 1 He also studied telomeres and his lab discovered an enzyme TERT telomerase reverse transcriptase which is part of the process of restoring telomeres after they are shortened during cell division 2 As president of Howard Hughes Medical Institute he promoted science education and he teaches an undergraduate chemistry course at the University of Colorado Thomas CechThomas CechBorn 1947 12 08 December 8 1947 age 74 Chicago USAAlma materGrinnell College B A 1970 University of California Berkeley Ph D 1975 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Postdoctoral Known forRibozyme TelomeraseAwardsNewcomb Cleveland Prize 1986 NAS Award in Molecular Biology 1987 Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1989 National Medal of Science 1995 Othmer Gold Medal 2007 Scientific careerInstitutionsUniversity of Colorado Howard Hughes Medical InstituteThesisCharacterization of the most rapidly renaturing sequences in the main band DNA of the mouse Mus musculus 1975 Doctoral advisorJohn E Hearst Contents 1 Early life and career 2 Research 3 Awards 4 See also 5 References 6 External linksEarly life and career EditCech was born to parents of Czech origin his grandfather was Czech his other grandparents were first generation Americans in Chicago he grew up in Iowa City Iowa In junior high school he knocked on the doors of geology professors at the University of Iowa and asked them to discuss crystal structures meteorites and fossils 3 A National Merit Scholar Cech entered Grinnell College in 1966 There he studied Homer s Odyssey Dante s Inferno constitutional history and chemistry He married his organic chemistry lab partner Carol Lynn Martinson and graduated with a B A in 1970 3 In 1975 Cech completed his PhD in Chemistry at the University of California Berkeley and in the same year he entered the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he engaged in postdoctoral research In 1978 he obtained his first faculty position at the University of Colorado where he lectured undergraduate students in chemistry and biochemistry and where he remains on the faculty currently as Distinguished Professor in the Department of Biochemistry In 2000 Cech succeeded Purnell Choppin as president of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Maryland He also continued to head his biochemistry laboratory at the University of Colorado Boulder On April 1 2008 Cech announced that he would step down as the president of HHMI to return to teaching and research in spring 2009 4 Returning to Boulder Cech became the first Executive Director of the BioFrontiers Institute a position he held until 2020 He also taught General Chemistry to freshmen Research EditCech s main research area is that of the process of transcription in the nucleus of cells He studies how the genetic code of DNA is transcribed into RNA In the 1970s Cech had been studying the splicing of RNA in the unicellular organism Tetrahymena thermophila when he discovered that an unprocessed RNA molecule could splice itself In 1982 Cech became the first to show that RNA molecules are not restricted to being passive carriers of genetic information they can have catalytic functions and can participate in cellular reactions RNA processing reactions and protein synthesis on ribosomes in particular are catalysed by RNA RNA enzymes are known as ribozymes and have provided a new tool for gene technology They also have the potential to provide new therapeutic agents for example they have the ability to destroy and cleave invading viral RNAs Cech s second area of research is on telomeres the structure that protects the ends of chromosomes Telomeres are shortened with every duplication of DNA and must be lengthened again He studies telomerase the enzyme that copies the telomeric sequences and lengthens them The active site protein subunits of telomerase comprise a new class of reverse transcriptases enzymes previously thought to be restricted to viruses and transposable elements Telomerase is activated in 90 of human cancers Therefore a drug that would inhibit its activity could be useful in treating cancer Awards EditCech s work has been recognised by many awards and prizes including lifetime Professorship by the American Cancer Society 1987 the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize from Columbia University 1988 the Heineken Prize of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences 1988 the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award 1988 the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1989 shared with Sidney Altman the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement in 1990 5 and the National Medal of Science 1995 6 In 1987 Cech was elected to the United States National Academy of Sciences 7 and in 1988 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 8 Cech was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 2001 9 In 2007 he received the Othmer Gold Medal for outstanding contributions to progress in chemistry and science 10 11 See also EditHistory of RNA biology List of RNA biologistsReferences Edit The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1989 Illustrated Presentation Telomeres Telomerase and Other Noncoding RNAs Howard Hughes Medical Institute July 13 2010 a b Nobel autobiography Nobelprize org Retrieved on 2013 10 22 HHMI News Thomas R Cech to Step Down as HHMI President Hhmi org 2008 04 01 Retrieved on 2013 10 22 Golden Plate Awardees of the American Academy of Achievement www achievement org American Academy of Achievement National Science Foundation The President s National Medal of Science Nsf gov Retrieved on 2013 10 22 Thomas R Cech www nasonline org Retrieved October 11 2021 Thomas Robert Cech American Academy of Arts amp Sciences Retrieved October 11 2021 APS Member History search amphilsoc org Retrieved October 11 2021 Othmer Gold Medal Science History Institute May 31 2016 Retrieved March 22 2018 Gussman Neil February 7 2007 Chemical Heritage Foundation to Present 2007 Othmer Gold Medal to Thomas Cech PR Newswire Retrieved June 12 2014 External links EditWikimedia Commons has media related to Thomas Robert Cech Tom Cech s Short Talk Discovering Ribozymes Chemical and Engineering News Thomas Cech on Nobelprize org The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1989 Illustrated Presentation HHMI profile HHMI bio HHMI Investigators bio The Official Site of Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Thomas Cech amp oldid 1088512822, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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