Profiles of Leading Women Scientists on AcademiaNet – an initiative of the Robert Bosch Stiftung.
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|Year of election:||2008|
|Section:||Genetics/Molecular Biology and Cell Biology|
Regine Kahmann is distinguished for a number of important contributions to site-specific recombination, gene regulation in prokaryotes and molecular phytopathology. These studies were conducted while she was an independent junior group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Genetics in Berlin and at the Institute for Genebiological Research in Berlin, professor at the Institute for Genetics and Microbiology in Munich and director at the MPI for Terrestrial Microbiology in Marburg.
Her major contributions to site specific recombination were the discovery of FIS protein and the demonstration that this accessory protein stimulates site-specific recombination by binding to an enhancer sequence. Nowadays she is best known for her seminal work on the plant pathogenic fungus Ustilago maydis. She identified the molecular components of the tetrapolar mating type system and elucidated their function. She also played the key role in identifying novel secreted effectors in this fungus which have crucial functions in the compatible interaction with host plants. She continues to study these effectors with the aim to unravel where and how they affect host plant functions.