Angelika Amon (1967-2020): Breakthrough scientist, extraordinary mentor, and loyal friend

Rosella Visintin, Adele L. Marston

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

Abstract

When asked to write a tribute to our mentor and friend, Angelika, 20 years of memorable, funny, and exciting anecdotes came to mind, some of which we recount below.

Angelika Amon was born in Vienna, Austria on January 10, 1967, and was attracted to science for as long as she could remember. Passionate, exuberant, and incorrigibly curious, it is easy to imagine young Angelika bursting with “why” questions. Brought up in a family fostering her love for animals and nature, she aspired to be a zoologist at first, but ended up devoting her life to discovering the fundamental concepts of biology. In high school, a black and white movie from the fifties showing chromosomes splitting apart enchanted Angelika and drew her to molecular biology and genetics. “The way nature works is unmatched and cells work perfectly,” she used to say with contagious enthusiasm. Determined to pursue her dream, for her undergraduate thesis she marched—no doubt about that—into Kim Nasmyth’s office at the Institute of Molecular Pathology in Vienna. At that time, Kim was new to the city and country, and, by Angelika's account, it was her knowledge of the Austrian waltz and German language that won her a place in his laboratory. She remained there for her PhD, graduating in 1993. From the early days in Kim’s laboratory, Angelika distinguished herself as one of the brightest minds of the cell cycle field. Using the elegant genetics of budding yeast, Angelika made key contributions to our understanding of cell cycle control. She showed that cyclins are confined within precise cell cycle windows by a combination of transcriptional and posttranslational regulatory mechanisms. On the one hand, cyclins self-regulate at the transcriptional level via sophisticated feedback loops; on the other, they undergo ubiquitin-mediated degradation to allow exit from mitosis. She went on to show how this degradation is turned off to allow entry into the next cell cycle (1).
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere202012031
Number of pages3
JournalThe Journal of cell biology
Volume220
Issue number2
Early online date30 Dec 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021

Keywords

  • in memorium

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