„Young biochemistry“

17 June, 2014 | Birštonas


Toivo Maimets
(Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Tartu)

Toivo Maimets (born 1957, Estonia) graduated form the University of Tartu as a biologist-geneticist in 1980 and after that he joined the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Tartu. He got his cand.sci.(kandidat nauk) degree from Moscow State University in 1984 for the studies on molecular mechanisms of bacterial protein synthesis. In 1985-1989 he was a British Council student and research scientist at the Marie Curie Cancer Research Institute (United Kingdom), where he started to study the genetics of cancer and the role of tumor suppressor genes in cell cycle regulation. In 1991 he received PhD degree for studies of human oncoprotein p53 (University of Tartu) and became Professor of Cell Biology at the same university in 1992. His research involves characterization of intracellular signal transduction pathways responsible for cell cycle regulation, DNA damage control and tumorigenesis. More concretely, his group presently studies the molecular mechanisms governing cell developmental potency and their role in human tumorigenesis. He is also developing methods for screening low-molecular weight compounds to modulate protein-protein interactions in vivo and use this to design new anti-tumour drugs. In 2006-2007 he was Visiting Professor of University of Newcastle, UK.
Professor Toivo Maimets is member of several international research organisations and advisory groups, including European Research and Innovation Area Board (ERIAB), European Molecular Biology Conference (president), Science Europe (former member of Board), European and American Associations for Cancer Research and Academia Europaea. He is also member of the European Medicines Agency Committee of Advanced Therapies and has served as a member and vice-president of UNESCO International Bioethics Committee (2004-2011).
He has occupied numerous administrative posts with responsibilities in research and education, including Dean of the Faculty (1993-1995), vice-rector of the University of Tartu (1995-1998), director of the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (1999-2003 and from 2008), Minister of Education and Research (2003-2005) and since 2012 member of Tartu University Governing Board. In 2009-2012 he was Chairman of Estonian Science Foundation, now member of Estonian Research Council Governing Board. In 2001-2007 he was the director of National Centre of Excellence for Gene and Environmental Technologies.
He has been PhD supervisor for several students and also PhD examiner both in Estonia and abroad. His list of publications includes about 60 papers in international research journals as well as many articles in local press to enhance public understanding of science. His research has been supported by numerous grants from Estonia and abroad.

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