A Rab, a Rab, my kingdom for a Rab

Scientific symposium on the occasion of Marino Zerial’s 65th birthday

Participants of the Symposium © Katrin Boes/MPI-CBG

A two-day scientific symposium on the occasion of Marino Zerial's 65th birthday, honoring Marino Zerial's contributions to science and the MPI-CBG, was held on April 25 and 26 at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (MPI-CBG). He is one of the founding directors of the MPI-CBG and is also the director of the Human Technopole in Milan, Italy. From 1998 forward, Marino Zerial and the other founding directors established the MPI-CBG. The title of the symposium, “A Rab, a Rab, my kingdom for a Rab,” honors several of his most significant discoveries in science and refers to his research focusing on the Rab5 protein, which plays a crucial role in endocytosis and membrane transport.

A remarkable scientific program was organized, involving a panel of twenty speakers and numerous local and foreign guests from all stages of his career, including amongst others Alpha Yap (University of Queensland), Suzanne Pfeffer (Stanford University), Tomas Kirchhausen (Harvard Medical School), Satyajit Mayor (National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore), and Ira Mellman (Geneentech). The program was touching and exciting since so many people contributed happy memories and personal anecdotes.

Marino Zerial studied at the University of Trieste and was awarded a Doctor Degree in Biology there in 1982. He did his postdoctoral work at the Institut J. Monod, Paris, and at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Heidelberg, where he was appointed research group leader at the Cell Biology Program in 1991. He was awarded the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize in 2008 and has been honored with the membership of the Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti in 2019. In 2021, he became an International Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.