Iain Mattaj

Professor Iain Mattaj

Human Technopole

Prof. Iain Mattaj was born in St. Andrews, Scotland. He attended Edinburgh University. After completing his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry (Honours) he attended the University of Leeds, England for his PhD studies. Following his PhD, Prof. Mattaj carried out postdoctoral research at the Friedrich Miescher Institute, Switzerland then at the Biocentre, University of Basel, Switzerland before joining EMBL Heidelberg, Germany as a Group Leader in 1985. He became Coordinator of the Gene Expression Unit at EMBL in 1990 before being promoted to the position of Scientific Director in 1999. In 2005 Prof. Mattaj was appointed Director General of EMBL, a position he held until the end of 2018. In January 2019 he commenced his appointment as the founding Director of Fondazione Human Technopole in Milan, Italy.

A highly distinguished scientist, Prof. Mattaj has made major contributions to the fields of transcription, RNA metabolism, nucleocytoplasmic transport and cell division. His prominent standing in the field was underlined by his election as President of the RNA Society and his award of the prestigious Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine in 2001, in addition to numerous other awards and honorary lectureships.

His scientific contributions have also been recognised by his election as a Fellow of the Royal Society (London), Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, elected Member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, Member of Academia Europea, Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Science, Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (London) and Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences (US). He is a member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) and helped make The EMBO Journal a highly successful international scientific journal, acting as Executive Editor from 1990 to 2004.