Fellow: Awarded 2011
Field of Study: Plant Sciences
Competition: Latin America & Caribbean
Dr. Yanovsky gained his PhD in Biological Sciences in 1999 from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, before completing his postdoctoral studies at The Scripps Research Institute, U.S.A., in 2003. He is currently PI at Fundación Instituto Leloir-IIBBA (CONICET), and Associate Professor at the University of Buenos Aires. Dr. Yanovsky has received the Howard Hughes Medical Institute International Scholar award (2007), the Bunge y Born young investigator award in Plant Biology (2006) and the Bernardo Houssay young investigator award in Biomedicine (2005).
Dr. Yanovsky has always been interested in understanding how plants flower at particular times of the year, studying the action of photoreceptors that discriminate day from nights, biological clocks that measure the passage of time, and mechanisms integrating these processes. His early work contributed to characterizing the signaling pathways through which specific photoreceptors control developmental processes in Arabidopsis thaliana and potato plants, focusing on their role adjusting the circadian clock to external light/dark cycles. As a post-doc in the lab of Dr. Steve Kay, Dr. Yanovsky collaborated in developing the first model explaining at the molecular level how the plant circadian clock operates, and, how the activity of the circadian clock interacts with that of specific photoreceptors to regulate the expression of key flowering time genes, allowing plants to discriminate long from short days in order to flower under the most favorable season. More recently, Dr. Yanovsky´s work has focused on the use of genetic approaches to dissect regulatory mechanisms controlling the circadian clock. This line of research allowed his group to identify a protein, known as PRMT5, which modulates circadian rhythms in plants and flies through effects on alternative splicing, a process whose importance in the regulation of gene expression and protein diversity is being increasingly recognized.
Sanchez, S.E.; Petrillo, E.; Beckwith, E.J.; Zhang, Xu; Rugnone, M.L.; Hernando, C.E.; Cuevas, J.; Godoy Herz, M.A.; Depetris-Chauvin, A.; Simpson, C.G.; Brown, J.W.S.; Cerdán, P.D.; Borevitz, J.O.; Más, P.; Ceriani, M.F.; Kornblihtt, A.R.; & Yanovsky. M.J. (2010). "A methyl transferase links the circadian clock to the regulation of alternative splicing," Nature, 468, 112-116.
Faigón-Soverna A; Harmon, F.G.; Storani, L.; Karayekov, E.; Staneloni, R.J.; Gassmann, W.; Más, P.; Casal, J.J.; Kay, S.A.; Yanovsky, M.J. (2006). "A constitutive shade-avoidance mutant implicates TIR-NBS-LRR proteins in Arabidopsis photomorphogenic development," The Plant Cell, 18:2919-2928.
M.J. Yanovsky, S.A. Kay (2003). "Living by the calendar: how plants know when to flower," Nature Rev. Mol. Cell Biol., 4, 265-276.
M.J. Yanovsky, S.A. Kay (2002). "Molecular basis of seasonal time measurement in Arabidopsis," Nature, 419, 308-312.
M.J. Yanovsky, M.A. Mazzella, and J.J. Casal (2000). "A quadruple photoreceptor mutant still keeps track of time," Current Biology, 10, 1013-1015.