Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

EMBO Gold Medal 2014 awarded to Sophie Martin

23.04.2014

EMBO today announced Sophie Martin of the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, as the winner of the 2014 EMBO Gold Medal. The award acknowledges her work to understand the molecular events that define the organization and development of the cell.

Martin has been working for the past 15 years to understand cellular polarity, in particular the way in which the spatial organization of cells contributes to cell size and cell division. In the last 11 years, she has been using fission yeast, which grow as single, rod-shaped cells, as a model system for her investigations.

In 2009, Martin discovered that a protein kinase called Pom1, which forms concentration gradients that originate from each end of the cell, regulates progression through the cell cycle. Martin proposed a model for how Pom1 gradients provide spatial information that prevents fission yeast cells from dividing until they reach a sufficient length.1 This work renewed interest in the mechanisms of regulation of cell size.

Earlier work by Martin and colleagues identified a protein present on the growing ends of microtubules – the tube-like structures critical for shaping cells – and showed that this protein binds to an actin nucleation factor. Her work revealed a potential mechanism by which microtubules direct where the actin cytoskeleton promotes cell growth. 2

“From early in her career, Sophie has demonstrated exceptional and consistent scientific achievement in molecular and cell biology,” said EMBO Member Daniel St Johnston, who supervised Martin when she was a PhD student studying cell polarization in Drosophila at the Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute at the University of Cambridge, England. “She has also demonstrated a remarkable talent that includes a proven ability to change research fields and work on different model organisms while maintaining leadership roles in each of her chosen scientific areas.”

Martin’s earlier research on Drosophila focused on LKB1, a homologue of a human tumour suppressor protein. Her study revealed that loss of lkb1 causes defects in cell polarity and tissue disorganization. This work was one of the first to propose that the loss of cell polarity contributes to the formation of tumours, as individuals affected by Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, which is caused by lkb1 mutations, have cancerous intestinal polyps. 3

“It is an immense honour to receive such a prestigious award,” said the prizewinner upon hearing the news. “I have always been fascinated by how biological processes are spatially organized within cells. I feel incredibly lucky not only to have the freedom to study this basic problem but to be rewarded for it.” She added: “I am extremely grateful to past and present colleagues who have contributed to this work through their insight and support.”

“Sophie Martin is a superb scientist. She is also a very active citizen of the scientific community, both locally and internationally,” stated EMBO Member Pierre Gönczy from the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC) at the School of Life Sciences of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL).

Sophie Martin will receive the EMBO Gold Medal and an award of 10,000 Euros on 2 September 2014 at The FEBS-EMBO Meeting in Paris where she will also give a lecture about her research.

1. Martin and Berthelot-Grosjean (2009) Nature 459: 782-783.

2. Martin et al. (2005) Developmental Cell 8: 479-491.

3. Martin and St Johnston (2003) Nature 421: 379-384.

CAREER STAGES

Sophie Martin received her PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2003 for her work in Daniel St Johnston’s group at the Gurdon Institute on the molecular mechanisms of cell polarization in Drosophila. She pursued postdoctoral training at Columbia University in New York in the laboratory of Dr. Fred Chang where she studied the cytoskeleton in fission yeast. In 2007, Martin joined the Center for Integrative Genomics at the University of Lausanne as a Swiss National Science Foundation Professor. She was appointed Associate Professor at the Department of Fundamental Microbiology at the University of Lausanne in 2010. In 2009, she was elected an EMBO Young Investigator.

Sophie Martin, 38, received the Women in Cell Biology Junior Award in 2012 from the American Society of Cell Biology. She is the 2014 recipient of the Friedrich Miescher Award. Martin was awarded a European Research Council Starting Grant in 2010 to study the contribution of the spatial organization of cells to the cell cycle.

ABOUT EMBO

EMBO is an organization of more than 1500 leading researchers that promotes excellence in the life sciences. The major goals of the organization are to support talented researchers at all stages of their careers, stimulate the exchange of scientific information, and help build a European research environment where scientists can achieve their best work.


For more information: www.embo.org

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.embo.org/news/press-releases/press-releases-2014/embo-gold-medal-2014...

Yvonne Kaul | EMBO

Further reports about: Biology Cancer Cell Drosophila EMBO actin cytoskeleton microtubules polarity polarization spatial

More articles from Awards Funding:

nachricht Frank Feldmann Receives SolarWorld Junior Einstein Award 2016
27.06.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme ISE

nachricht Dr. Karl-Robert Brauns Prize for Ophthalmology 2016
16.06.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Struktur und Dynamik der Materie

All articles from Awards Funding >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Optical lenses, hardly larger than a human hair

3D printing enables the smalles complex micro-objectives

3D printing revolutionized the manufacturing of complex shapes in the last few years. Using additive depositing of materials, where individual dots or lines...

Im Focus: Flexible OLED applications arrive

R2D2, a joint project to analyze and development high-TRL processes and technologies for manufacture of flexible organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has been successfully completed.

In contrast to point light sources like LEDs made of inorganic semiconductor crystals, organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) are light-emitting surfaces. Their...

Im Focus: Unexpected flexibility found in odorant molecules

High resolution rotational spectroscopy reveals an unprecedented number of conformations of an odorant molecule – a new world record!

In a recent publication in the journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter...

Im Focus: 3-D printing produces cartilage from strands of bioink

Strands of cow cartilage substitute for ink in a 3D bioprinting process that may one day create cartilage patches for worn out joints, according to a team of engineers. "Our goal is to create tissue that can be used to replace large amounts of worn out tissue or design patches," said Ibrahim T. Ozbolat, associate professor of engineering science and mechanics. "Those who have osteoarthritis in their joints suffer a lot. We need a new alternative treatment for this."

Cartilage is a good tissue to target for scale-up bioprinting because it is made up of only one cell type and has no blood vessels within the tissue. It is...

Im Focus: First experimental quantum simulation of particle physics phenomena

Physicists in Innsbruck have realized the first quantum simulation of lattice gauge theories, building a bridge between high-energy theory and atomic physics. In the journal Nature, Rainer Blatt‘s and Peter Zoller’s research teams describe how they simulated the creation of elementary particle pairs out of the vacuum by using a quantum computer.

Elementary particles are the fundamental buildings blocks of matter, and their properties are described by the Standard Model of particle physics. The...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Conference ‘GEO BON’ Wants to Close Knowledge Gaps in Global Biodiversity

28.06.2016 | Event News

ERES 2016: The largest conference in the European real estate industry

09.06.2016 | Event News

Networking 4.0: International Laser Technology Congress AKL’16 Shows New Ways of Cooperations

24.05.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

New way out: Researchers show how stem cells exit bloodstream

29.06.2016 | Life Sciences

Crucial peatlands carbon-sink vulnerable to rising sea levels

29.06.2016 | Earth Sciences

The large-scale stability of chromosomes

29.06.2016 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>