CompLifeSci Seminar: Jarmo Niemi and Georgiy Belogurov


September 21, 2018    
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm


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Dr. Jarmo Niemi, Department of Biochemistry, University of Turku: “Genome mining for the unknown – identifying biosynthetic genes for C-nucleosides”
Dr. Georgiy Belogurov, Department of Biochemistry, University of Turku: “Unraveling the mechanism of RNA polymerase translocation along the DNA”

Coffee at 13:45

Dr. Jarmo Niemi started working with anthracycline biosynthesis in 1985, in the Finnish pharmaceutical company Leiras, and has continued it since, except for 1995-1998, when working in a project concerning high-throughput screening methods for peptide receptor agonists. His Ph. D. thesis was about “Hybrid Anthracycline Antibiotics: Analysis and Application of Rhodomycin Biosynthetic Genes from Streptomyces purpurascens”. He now works in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Turku, with “Antibiotic Biosynthetic Engineering”, or ABE. The ABELAB wishes to promote research on microbial natural products and contribute to the field with three major lines of investigations. We wish to conduct basic research on the biochemistry and biosynthesis of natural products, and understand at the molecular level how these complex molecules are made. This requires a multidisciplinary approach using genomics and bioinformatics, molecular biology and structural biology to provide detailed answers to the research questions. One key to the success of natural products has been the incredible diversity of metabolites that Streptomyces are able to produce, which has helped them to survive in a competitive ecological niche. In order to understand how these molecules have come into existence in the first place, we have conducted several studies on the evolution of secondary metabolism using phylogenetic analyses and protein engineering.

Dr. Georgi Belogurov obtained Master of Science in chemistry degree from the Department of Chemistry Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia in 1997. He then moved to the University of Turku, Turku, Finland, were he made PhD (1997-2005) in the research team led by Prof. Reijo Lahti. Georgi’s PhD research was dedicated to studies of transmembrane cation transporters. He then moved to the Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA to make his postdoc (2006-2009) in the research team led by Prof. Irina Artsimovitch. Georgi’s postdoctoral work was dedicated to studies of prokaryotic transcription and transcription inhibitors. In 2009 Georgi returned to the University of Turku, Department of Biochemistry to set up his own research team. Dr. Belogurov laboratory studies the mechanistic aspect of prokaryotic and eukaryotic transcription by biochemical and biophysical methods.