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Dr. Ute Kothe.

Dr. Ute Kothe.

Dr. Ute Kothe receives Lifetime Service Award

March 7, 2024 — 

UM professor Dr. Ute Kothe has been named the 2024 recipient of the RNA Society Lifetime Service Award. The Award is given to an RNA Society member who has made long-standing contributions and provided leadership in promoting its mission and activities.

“On behalf of all the researchers and chemists at UM, I extend heartfelt congratulations to Dr. Kothe for this greatly deserved recognition,” said Dr. Mario Pinto, Vice-President (Research & International). “Through her exemplary leadership, she has helped to create a more inclusive environment for RNA researchers around the globe.”

Dr. Kothe is the current Head of the Department of Chemistry and the incoming Dean of Extended Education.

In 2016, she collaborated with Kristian Baker, Associate Professor of Genetics and Genome Sciences at Case Western Reserve University, to create and build the RNA Salon program. The RNA Salon program brings together local RNA communities around the world by providing financial support for seminars and science-based activities. The program is intended to increase engagement and interaction between RNA scientists while supporting training and professional development amongst RNA researchers and junior trainees.

Through Dr. Kothe’s steady guidance, the RNA Salon program has expanded its reach to over 50 sites across every continent. A passionate advocate of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), she pushed for the inclusion of historically underserved geographic locations and encouraged local RNA community members to adopt a more inclusive mindset, adding requirements for DEI activities in RNA Salon applications.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Kothe promoted virtual RNA Salon seminars, which assisted in maintaining a sense of community and inclusion amongst global research communities during a time of isolation.

An integral leader in the Canadian RNA community, Dr. Kothe has been responsible for organizing national RNA conferences and developing RNA-focused training programs. As a founding member of the newly formed RNA Canada ARN, Dr. Kothe remains a fervent advocate for DEI initiatives as a member of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity Committee.

As a professor and head of the UM Department of Chemistry, Dr. Kothe’s leadership has helped establish her lab as a world leader in identifying the molecular and structural features that allow different types of RNAs to fulfill diverse functions.

Over her decorated career, she has received recognition for her numerous scientific contributions in the form of an election into the College of the Royal Society in Canada, a RiboClub Blue Jacket award, and was awarded the Canadian Society for Molecular Biosciences (CSMB) Jeanne Manery Fisher Memorial Lecture.

Research at the University of Manitoba is partially supported by funding from the Government of Canada Research Support Fund.

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