Visit by Judith Frydman


This year, we had the great pleasure to host Judith Frydman (Department of Biology and Genetics, Stanford Univeristy) as Max-Birnstiel lecturer. This special lecture series is named after the founding director of the IMP and the highest award that the IMP can give to outside scientists.

Judith’s group is particularly interested in the function of the Hsp70 chaperone, a general helper protein bringing other proteins into functional shape and protecting them from damage by external stresses. The DENV virus, like many other viruses, is in urgent need of Hsp70 to replicate its viral genome and make the viral proteins it needs to take control of the host cells. Judith’s lab revealed the precise role of Hsp70 in this process. Surprisingly, the virus is much more dependent on the Hsp70 chaperone machinery than the host itself, thus revealing a so far un-addressed therapeutic strategy against viral infections diseases. It was absolutely fantastic to hear about this amazing work first hand, with Judith presenting “Protein folding in the cell and the proteostasis network: biological mechanism and disease implications”.