Isabelle Zink, PhD!


Isa successfully defended her PhD thesis

On Monday, 13 January 2020, Isabelle Anna Zink successfully defended her PhD titled "Investigation of CRISPR-mediated RNA interference in the archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus".

Lecture Hall 5, UZA 2

Mo, 13 January 2020, 11:30 a.m.

Supervisor: Christa Schleper

Opponents: Amy Schmid and Anita Marchfelder

Sulfolobus solfataricus is a hyperthermophilic archaeon harboring a CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) type III immune system which natively destroys virus RNA to protect the cell.
Within her PhD, Isabelle studied the CRISPR type III RNA interference pathway and repurposed it into a molecular tool for targeted and gradual silencing of selected chromosomal host genes. By applying this tool, Isabelle could knock down and study the function of a number of essential genes, which cannot be investigated by gene knockout. Among those, the Sulfolobus cell wall (S-layer) was depleted and thereby shown to play a decisive role in cell division and virus infection.

Excellent work, Isabelle! Congratulations and all the best for the future!