Richard Treisman

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Sir Richard Treisman

Sir Richard Treisman speaking at a conference in 2015
Sir Richard Treisman speaking at a conference in 2015
Born (1954-10-07) 7 October 1954 (age 64)[1]
EducationHaberdashers' Aske's Boys' School
Alma materChrist's College, Cambridge (BA)
University College London (PhD)
Scientific career
InstitutionsFrancis Crick Institute
Harvard University
University of Cambridge
Laboratory of Molecular Biology
ThesisThe structures of polyoma virus-specific nuclear and cytoplasmic RNA molecules (1981)
Doctoral advisorBob Kamen[5]
Other academic advisorsTom Maniatis
Notable studentsRichard Marais[6]
InfluencesCaroline S. Hill[7]

Sir Richard Henry Treisman (born 7 October 1954)[1] FRS FMedSci[8][9] is a British scientist specialising in the molecular biology of cancer. Treisman is a director of research at the Francis Crick Institute in London.


Treisman was educated at Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School[1] and Christ's College, Cambridge where he was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1977.[1] He completed his postgraduate study at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (ICRF) and University College London where he was awarded a PhD for research on polyomavirus transcription and RNA processing supervised by Bob Kamen[5] in 1981.[10]

Career and research[edit]

After his PhD, Treisman pursued postdoctoral research at Harvard University on globin gene expression and thalassemia genes with Tom Maniatis. In 1984, he joined the Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) at the University of Cambridge, where he started working on how growth factors control transcription. Initially focusing on the Fos gene, he identified the transcription factor Serum response factor (SRF) and cloned its gene, before returning to London in 1988.[8]

He showed that the TCF family of SRF cofactors are targets for Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signalling, and demonstrated that the MRTF transcription cofactors are novel G-actin binding proteins that sense fluctuations in G-actin concentration. He continues to focus on SRF’s regulatory cofactors and their cognate signalling pathways.[8]

Treisman was Director of the Cancer Research UK (CRUK) London Research Institute from 2000–2015, becoming Research Director of the Francis Crick Institute in 2009.

Awards and honours[edit]

Treisman was elected a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization[when?] and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci);[when?] he received the EMBO Gold Medal in 1995[11] and the Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine in 2002[12]. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 1994 and knighted in the 2016 Birthday Honours.[4][13]


  1. ^ a b c d Anon (2017). Treisman, Dr Richard Henry. Who's Who (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.37996. (subscription or UK public library membership required) (subscription required)
  2. ^ "EMBO MEMBER: Richard Treisman".
  3. ^ Louis-Jeantet Prize
  4. ^ a b "No. 61608". The London Gazette. 2016-06-11. p. B2.
  5. ^ a b "Voices of the Fifth Floor - Blue Skies and Bench Space".
  6. ^ Larue, Lionel (2010). "Richard Marais". Pigment Cell & Melanoma Research. 23 (3): 448. doi:10.1111/j.1755-148X.2010.00708.x. ISSN 1755-1471. PMID 20518862.
  7. ^ Hill, C. S.; Treisman, R. (1995). "Transcriptional regulation by extracellular signals: mechanisms and specificity". Cell. 80 (2): 199–211. ISSN 0092-8674. PMID 7834740.
  8. ^ a b c Anon (1994). "Richard Treisman". London: Royal Society. Archived from the original on 2017-10-27. Retrieved 2018-05-27. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from the website where:

    “All text published under the heading 'Biography' on Fellow profile pages is available under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.” --Royal Society Terms, conditions and policies at the Wayback Machine (archived 2016-11-11)

  9. ^ Richard Treisman publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database. (subscription required)
  10. ^ Treisman, Richard Henry (1981). The structures of polyoma virus-specific nuclear and cytoplasmic RNA molecules. (PhD thesis). University College London (University of London). OCLC 556387169. EThOS
  11. ^ Treisman, Richard (1995). "Journey to the surface of the cell: Fos regulation and the SRE". The EMBO Journal. 14 (20): 4905–4913. PMC 394592. PMID 7588619.
  12. ^ Louis-Jeantet Prize
  13. ^ Anon (2016). "Birthday honours: Mitochondrial disease doctor recognised". BBC News.

 This article incorporates text available under the CC BY 4.0 license.