Elena Conti

Director, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry

Elena Conti is a Director at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Munich, where she is also Honorary Professor at the Ludwig Maximilian University. Elena studied Chemistry in Italy at the University of Pavia and then moved to London to obtain her PhD from the Department of Physical Sciences of Imperial College. After a postdoc at the Rockefeller University, she established her research group at EMBL in 1999. She joined the Max Planck Society in 2007.

Elena is a biochemist and structural biologist working on RNA surveillance and degradation. Her team identified the mechanisms with which major RNA decay machines function at the molecular and chemical level, leading to a greater understanding of how they regulate RNA life. 

Elena is an active citizen of the RNA and structural biology communities, serving on a number of boards and committees, and organizing conferences. She is an elected member of EMBO and of the German Academy of Sciences, and has been recognized with several prizes, most notably the Jeantet Prize for Medicine in 2014, the FEBS Theodor Bucher and Hans Krebs Medals in 2011 and 2015 and the Leibniz Prize in 2008.