Norbert Polacek

Norbert Polacek Norbert Polacek
Group leader
Room S075
Phone +41 31 631 43 20



  • 1988-1996: studies in Biology/Genetics at the University of Vienna, Austria
  • 1995-1996: diploma thesis in the group of Andrea Barta, Institute of Biochemistry, Vienna
(Topic: Identification of divalent metal ion binding sites in rRNA of E. coli)
  • 1997-2000: Ph.D. thesis in the group of Andrea Barta, Institute of Medical Biochemistry, University of Vienna (Topic: Structural dynamics of bacterial rRNA during translation)
  • 1998-1999: research visits (in total 5 months) at the Max-Planck Institute of Molecular Genetics Berlin/Germany) in the group of Knud Nierhaus


Career history

  • 2000-2003: Postdoc in the group of Alexander S. Mankin, Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA (research field: Ribosomal catalysis)
  • 2003-2005: University Assistant (Assistant Professor) and group leader at the Division of Genomics & RNomics, Innsbruck Medical University - Biocenter, Austria (research fields: Small ncRNAs as ribo-regulators in pro- and eukaryotes, catalytic functions of rRNA)
  • 2005: ‘Habilitation’ (venia docendi) in Molecular Biology at the Medical University Innsbruck
  • 2005-2011: Associate Professor at the Innsbruck Biocenter /Division of Genomics & RNomics, Innsbruck Medical University
  • since 2012: Full Professor of Biochemistry at the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Bern
  • since 2014: NCCR RNA & Disease Delegate Training & Education
  • since 2014: head of the master program in "Molecular Life Sciences" at the University of Bern
  • since 2018: vice director of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry


Prizes and Awards

  • 2006: START award from the Austrian Science Foundation (FWF)
  • 2006: Novartis research prize for Biology
  • 2008: Research award of the Principality Liechtenstein


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