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Miroslav Radman in his lab

A biographical sketch

Born in April 30, 1944 in Split (Croatia), Miroslav Radman is a French-Croatian geneticist and molecular biologist. Married to Danica Radman, ethnomusicologist, he has three children. He graduated in biology from the University of Zagreb, Croatia. In 1969, he received his PhD degree in molecular biology from the Free University of Brussels, Belgium. After working as a postdoctoral researcher with Raymond Devoret (1969-70) at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) at Gif-sur-Yvette, France, he joigned Matthew Meselson at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA (1970-73). He is a former Professor of Molecular Genetics at the Free University of Brussels (1973-83) and a Research Director at the French CNRS (Institute J. Monod, Paris, 1983-1997). In 1998, he becomes professor of Cell Biology at the Medical School of the René Descartes University (Paris-5) and director of the INSERM research Unit 571 "Evolutionary and Medical Molecular Genetics", from which he retires in 2013 as exceptional class professor emeritus.

Miroslav Radman is member of several international clubs and academies, notably, EMBO, the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, the French Academy of Science, the World Academy of Arts and Sciences, the European Academy of Science, the European Academy of Microbiology, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the US National Academy of Science. Over his career, Miroslav Radman has received a dozen of major national and international scientific awards. Furthermore, he was knighted by the Presidents of Croatia and France for his overall contributions to the field of science. He is also the founder of the Mediterranean Institute for Life Sciences (MedILS) in Split, Croatia; a unique fully independent, international institute for the multidisciplinary study of life; also a hub for brain storms, workshops and trans-disciplinary training during summer schools funded by corporate donations from over 30 companies including Microsoft Research. Founding member of four start-up biotech companies in USA and France, and the initiator and co-founder of the EITP (European Institute of Technology in Paris) project.

During his career, he has published over 200 research and review articles in the areas of DNA repair, DNA replication, mutagenesis, genetic recombination, evolution, microbiology, cancer research, protein oxidation and aging, that have been cited over 10.000 times. Additionally, he is the author of 2 books of scientific popularization about his recent work on the field of aging.

Three of his personal discoveries are present in standard molecular biology and genetics textbooks worldwide:

  1. the discovery of the SOS response in bacteria as the very beginning of integrative, or systems, biology (common control of metabolically unrelated genes including those responsible for induced mutagenesis),
  2. the discovery of the strand-directed mismatch repair system in E. coli as the paradigmal ubiquitous single most important system for the maintenance of the global genetic stability with anti-cancer activity in humans and
  3. the discovery that the mismatch repair system acts as the genetic barrier between closely related species (inactivation of that system allows for fertility and genetic recombination in otherwise sterile inter-species crosses in bacteria and yeast).

His paper on the molecular basis of extreme radiation and desiccation resistance in the most robust microbe Deinococcus radiodurans in Nature unravelled a 50 years old mystery and was commented in over thousand newspaper articles and TV news worldwide.

Miroslav Radman’s scientific achievements clearly reveal a highly innovative, creative and daring thinker and scientist who is totally unconstrained by established dogmata. Described by some as the “enfant terrible” of science, Miroslav Radman’s work continues to revolutionize the world of science.


More information:

Miroslav Radman's CV

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