Old Group Ban

Prof. Nenad Ban

Nenad Ban

ETH Zürich
Prof. Dr. Nenad Ban
Inst. f. Molekularbiol.u.Biophysik
Otto-Stern-Weg 5
8093 Zuerich

Phone: +41 44 633 27 85
Fax: +41 44 633 12 46

Nenad Ban was born in Zagreb, Croatia and educated at the University of Zagreb. He continued with his studies in the US where he obtained a PhD degree at the University of California at Riverside in the group of Alexander McPherson. His interest in large macromolecular assemblies led him for his postdoctoral work to the Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale University where he determined the atomic structure of the large ribosomal subunit by X-ray crystallography, as part of the group in the laboratory of Thomas Steitz. These results demonstrated that the ribosome is a ribozyme.

Since 2000 Nenad Ban is a professor of structural molecular biology at the ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology). Structural studies in his group on bacterial and eukaryotic ribosomes and their functional complexes, using a combination of crystallographic, electron microscopic and biochemical experiments, have provided fundamental insights into the process of protein synthesis in all kingdoms of life. His group has obtained detailed structural information on eukaryotic ribosomes, which are at 4.3 MDa significantly larger and more complex than their 2.6 MDa bacterial counterparts, by determining the first complete structures of both eukaryotic ribosomal subunits each in complex with an initiation factor. Recently, his group also obtained a breakthrough in visualizing mammalian mitochondrial ribosomes with their study of the large ribosomal subunit that revealed its architectural features and the mechanism of how mitochondrial ribosomes, specialized for the synthesis of membrane proteins, are attached to the membranes. The work of his group on giant multifunctional enzymes involved in fatty acid synthesis offer first mechanistic insights into substrate shuttling and delivery in such megasynthases, with direct implications for our understanding of polyketide synthases. Nenad Ban is a member of EMBO, the German Academy of Sciences, the Croatian Academy of Arts and Sciences and the recipient of several prizes and awards including the Heinrich Wieland prize, Roessler prize of the ETH Zurich, the Latsis prize, the Friedrich Miescher Prize of the Swiss Society for Biochemistry, Spiridon Brusina medal and the AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize.

Education and training

1986 - 1990 B.S., Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Summa Cum Laude, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics University of Zagreb, Croatia
1990 - 1994 PhD, Biochemistry, Minor in Computer Science, with Prof. Alex McPherson University of California at Riverside, USA
1994 - 1998 Postdoctoral training, Prof. Thomas A. Steitz Yale University, Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry

Professional positions

1999 Research Scientist, Yale University
2000 Assistant professor, ETH Zurich
2004 Associate professor, ETH Zurich
2007 Professor, ETH Zurich

Institutional responsibilities

2013 Deputy Director of the Zurich Centre for Molecular Structure and Mechanism
2006 – 2008, 2014 Chair, Institute of Molecular Biology and Biophysics
2010 - 2014 Member of the board of the Electron Microscopy Center of the ETH Zurich
2012 President of the tenure committee of the ETH Zurich

Commissions of trust

2012 Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the EMBL
2002 – 2012 Head of the Protein Crystallography Proposal Review Committee at Paul Scherrer Institute, Villigen Swiss Light Source
2007 Scientific Advisory Board of the DFG on Excellence Cluster "Macromolecular Complexes" in Frankfurt
2007 Scientific Advisory Board of the DFG on Excellence Cluster "Cellular Networks" in Heidelberg

Editorial boards

Science, Cell reports, Current opinion in Structural Biology series

Prizes, Awards, Honors

2012 Spiridon Brusina medal of the Croatian Society of Genetics, Biology, and Biochemistry
2012 Honorary member of the Indian Biophysical Society
2010 Heinrich Wieland International Science prize
2009 EMBL Distinguished Speaker lecture
2009 Roessler Prize of the ETH Zurich
2008 EMBO member
2008 Member of the Leopoldina, German Academy of Sciences
2008 Member of Croatian Academy of Arts and Sciences
2005 Latsis Prize
2004 Friedrich-Miescher Prize, Swiss Society for Biochemistry
2002 Newcomb-Cleveland prize, American Association for Advancement of Science
2002 Human Frontier Science Program Young Investigator Research Award
1999 Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award

Selected Invited Plenary, Keynote and Named Lectures

2015 Barcelona, Spain, Keynote Lecture, Int. Symposium on Aminoacyl-tRNA Synthetases
2015 Brussels, Belgium, Keynote Lecture Ribosome Synthesis EMBO Conference
2014 Munich, Germany, 50th anniversary of the Heinrich Wieland Prize Lecture
2013 Heidelberg, Germany, Keynote Lecture, Translational Control EMBO Conference
2013 Vienna, Austria, Max Birnstiel Lecture, Institute of Molecular Pathology
2013 Mumbai, India, G. N. Ramachandran Memorial Lecture of the Indian Biophysical Society
2011 Cairns, Australia, Plenary lecture, Australian Soc. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
2010 Darmstadt, Germany, Keynote Lecture, 26th European Crystallographic Meeting
2007 San Diego, USA, Nathan O Kaplan lecture, University of California at San Diego
2007 Dresden, Germany, Plenary lecture, sixth European Life Sciences Organization meeting
2006 Strasbourg, France, LeFevre Memorial Lecture in Biophysics, CNRS
2006 Munich, Germany, Roemer lecture, Ludwig Maximilian University
2005 Florence, Italy, Keynote lecture, 20th Congress of the International Union of Crystallography
2005 Zurich, Switzerland, Plenary lecture, Union of the Swiss Soc. for Experimental Biology


Please click here for a complete list of publications


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