Bringing molecules to life

In his inaugural lecture, Professor Paul Teesdale-Spittle discusses how life depends on complex interactions.

Life depends on the complex interactions between molecules, and from living systems acquiring, storing, and using energy. One of the most important aspects of this is the ability to store, use, and replicate information, such as the nucleic acid DNA that is passed down through generations. The central dogma, as envisaged by Francis Crick in 1957, noted that information can be passed from one nucleic acid to another (from DNA to RNA through a process called transcription), and from nucleic acid to protein (producing proteins from RNA in a process called translation).

In this lecture, Professor Teesdale-Spittle will take a brief tour through the processes of transcription and translation, specifically an unexpected mechanism that controls the very earliest phase of protein production in translation. We will see how a natural product found in New Zealand sponges can change the way translation is controlled and how in the future this could lead to useful therapeutics.

Professor Paul Teesdale-Spittle, flanked by two other staff members, at his inaugural lecture
Inaugural lecture (left to right): Professor David Harper, Professor Paul Teesdale-Spittle, and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nic Smith.

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