Non-coding RNAs of Viral and Cellular Origin: more surprises

Joan Steitz is a renowned molecular biologist who began her illustrious career by discovering the molecular interaction between rRNA and initiation codons in bacterial mRNA in the early 1980s. She subsequently pioneered our understanding of most classes of small non coding RNA. Thus she discovered the critical role of snRNA in intron splicing and more recently has generated numerous top publications on both snoRNA and microRNA synthesis and function. She has held a long term interest in virus encoded ncRNA and this has led her back to further pioneering work on long non coding RNA. Very few scientists can match her stellar productivity over 40 years, with recent papers in top journals from her lab still appearing at amazing regularity. Joan has an irrepressible fascination in gene expression which she transmits to all around her. She is highly supportive of junior scientists and a strong advocate and example to women in science.