Benjamin Blencowe

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Benjamin Blencowe

Benjamin Joseph Blencowe
NationalityBritish and Canadian
Alma materImperial College London (BSc)
University of London (PhD)
AwardsJohn Polanyi Award (2011)
Scientific career
FieldsGene regulation
RNA processing
Alternative splicing
Functional genomics[1]
ThesisThe application of antisense technology to the study of mammalian pre-mRNA splicing factors. (1991)
Academic advisors

Benjamin Joseph Blencowe FRS FRSC[2][3] is a British and Canadian molecular biologist, currently appointed as Professor and Banbury Chair in Medical Research at the University of Toronto. He also serves as Director of the University of Toronto’s Donnelly Sequencing Centre.[4][1] He teaches in the Department of Molecular Genetics and his lab is part of the Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research.


Blencowe studied microbiology and molecular biology at Imperial College London, where he received an BSc (with first class honours) in 1988. He undertook graduate research at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, as an external student of the University of London, earning his PhD in 1991.

Career and research[edit]

After receiving his PhD, Blencowe joined the Center of Cancer Research (renamed Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a Human Frontier Science Program Long Term Fellow in 1992. He was appointed Assistant Professor at University of Toronto in 1998 and promoted to full Professor in 2006.

Blencowe’s research focuses on fundamental questions relating to RNA biology.[1] His research group has made pioneering contributions to the development and application of high-throughput methods for studying RNA processing and RNA-RNA interactions. This research has contributed global-scale insights into the complexity, evolution, regulation and function of alternative splicing, including the discovery of splicing networks that control stem cell pluripotency and neurogenesis. His most recent research led to the discovery of a program of alternative splicing that is commonly disrupted in neurological disorders, work that has opened the door to a new therapeutic strategy for autism.

Selected publications[edit]

Honors and awards[edit]

Blencowe received the Premier of Ontario Research Excellence Award in 1999 and the Canadian Society of Molecular Biosciences Senior Investigator Award in 2011.[5] He was a recipient of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada John C. Polanyi Award in 2011 for his contributions to the understanding of the RNA splicing code.[6] Blencowe was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (FRSC) in 2017,[3] and Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2019.[2]


  1. ^ a b c Benjamin Blencowe publications indexed by Google Scholar Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ a b Anon (2019). "Professor Benjamin Blencowe FRS". Royal Society. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from the website where:

    “All text published under the heading 'Biography' on Fellow profile pages is available under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.” --Royal Society Terms, conditions and policies at the Wayback Machine (archived 2016-11-11)

  3. ^ a b "Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada". Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  4. ^ "Donnelly Sequencing Centre". Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  5. ^ "Canadian Science Publishing Senior Investigator Award". Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  6. ^ "NSERC John C. Polanyi Award". 28 June 2016. Retrieved May 29, 2019.