Life Achievement Award
A lifetime award
After 10 years of supporting RNA related research in Canada the RiboClub introduced in 2009 a life achievement award. This award recognizes a Canadian scientist that significantly changed the landscape of RNA biology. A one of a kind watch selected specially for this occasion will be given every 10 years and the recipients will be featured on the RiboClub websites along with their biography and contribution. The awardees may be nominated by any regular member of the RiboClub and selected by the RiboClub organizers and the RiboClub blue knights (Blue Jacket Holders).
2009 – Life Achievement Award
2005 – 2007
1992 – 2002
2019 – Life Achievement Award
Who is Benjamin Blencowe
Benjamin Joseph Blencowe is a British and Canadian molecular biologist, currently appointed as Professor and Banbury Chair in Medical Research at the University of Toronto. He also serves as Director of the University of Toronto’s Donnelly Sequencing Centre.
Blencowe studied microbiology and molecular biology at Imperial College London, where he received an BSc (with first class honours) in 1988. He undertook graduate research at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, as an external student of the University of London, earning his PhD in 1991.
Career and research
After receiving his PhD, Blencowe joined the Center of Cancer Research (renamed Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a Human Frontier Science Program Long Term Fellow in 1992. He was appointed Assistant Professor at University of Toronto in 1998 and promoted to full Professor in 2006.
Blencowe’s research focuses on fundamental questions relating to RNA biology. His research group has made pioneering contributions to the development and application of high-throughput methods for studying RNA processing and RNA-RNA interactions. This research has contributed global-scale insights into the complexity, evolution, regulation and function of alternative splicing, including the discovery of splicing networks that control stem cell pluripotency and neurogenesis. His most recent research led to the discovery of a program of alternative splicing that is commonly disrupted in neurological disorders, work that has opened the door to a new therapeutic strategy for autism.