Elena Conti

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Elena Conti
Born (1967-02-14) February 14, 1967 (age 52)
EducationImperial College, London (PhD 1996)
University of Pavia (Chemistry, 1991)
Known forRNA transport, RNA metabolism
Awards Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize (2008)
Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine (2014) [1]
Scientific career
Fieldsstructural biology, biophysics, molecular biology, crystallography, chemistry
InstitutionsMax Planck Institute of Biochemistry; Rockefeller University; EMBL; Heidelberg

Elena Conti (born 14 February 1967 in Varese, Italy) is an Italian biochemist and molecular biologist. She serves as Director and Scientific Member of the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, Germany, where she uses structural biology and biophysical techniques to study RNA transport and RNA metabolism.[2] Together with Elisa Izaurralde, she helped characterize proteins important for exporting mRNA out of the nucleus.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

After graduating in chemistry at the University of Pavia in 1991, Conti achieved a PhD on protein cristallography at the Imperial College in London in 1996, with a thesis on the crystal structure of firefly luciferase". [4][5] From 1997 to 1999 she worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Rockefeller University in New York City; her postdoc advisor was John Kuriyan. [5]


She worked as a group leader at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany from 1999 until January 2006 [5], when she became director and scientific member at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, Germany.[2] She is also an honorary professor at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany from 2007.

Awards and honors[edit]

In 2008, Conti was awarded the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize, the most prestigious prize awarded to the researchers in Germany. The prize was shared with Elisa Izaurralde and awarded for "fundamental new insights into intracellular RNA transport and RNA metabolism."[3] In 2014 she received the Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine [6] for her important contributions to understanding the mechanisms governing RNA quality, transport and degradation. In 2018, she received the Bijvoet Medal of the Bijvoet Center for Biomolecular Research of Utrecht University.[7] She is an elected member of European Molecular Biology Organization and of the Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. [8][9]


  1. ^ Louis-Jeantet Prize
  2. ^ a b "Conti, Elena". www.mpg.de.
  3. ^ a b "DFG, German Research Foundation - Honour, Prize Money and "Idyllic Freedom": 2008 Leibniz Prizewinners Announced". www.dfg.de.
  4. ^ "CV" (PDF). Leopoldina.
  5. ^ a b c "Curriculum Vitae". www.biochem.mpg.de. Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  6. ^ Louis-Jeantet Prize
  7. ^ "Bijvoet Medal". Bijvoet Center for Biomolecular Research. Retrieved 2018-04-24.
  8. ^ User, Super. "New EMBO Members 2008". EMBO. Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  9. ^ "Mitgliederverzeichnis". www.leopoldina.org (in German). Retrieved 2019-03-07.