Micha Rapé, PhD
Micha Rapé is a pioneer in uncovering molecular mechanisms of cell fate determination, using posttranslational modification with ubiquitin as his starting point. Micha’s work revealed essential ubiquitin signals, substrates and enzymes, as well as mechanisms of ubiquitylation that are essential for human development and disease. Most recently, Micha’s lab discovered the reductive stress response as a core regulator of mitochondrial activity and dimerization quality control, the first example of quality control of protein complex composition. His work led to the first prospective development of a molecular glues targeting E3 ligases, which greatly helped open up the ubiquitin system for drug discovery. To advance new ubiquitin-focused approaches in drug discovery, Micha co-founded Nurix Therapeutics with support from The Column Group.
Micha received his PhD at the Max-Planck Institute of Biochemistry, and he performed postdoctoral work in Marc Kirschner’s lab at Harvard Medical School. In late 2006, Micha joined the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California at Berkeley, where he is currently the Dr. K. Peter Hirth Chair of Cancer Biology and a Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology. Micha is also an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
His work has been recognized with a Pew Scholar’s Award, the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise honoring the best immigrant into biomedical sciences, and the National Blavatnik Award in Life Sciences.