Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Special grants get new researchers off the ground

30.11.2007
The benefits of special grants designed to give talented new researchers a ‘leg-up’ on the career ladder are bearing fruit.

A recently recruited scientist to The University of Nottingham has won a remarkable £870,000 of funding through two New Investigator Research schemes that help newly employed university researchers set up laboratories and establish their own track record.

The work of Dr Aziz Aboobaker, a Research Councils UK (RCUK) Academic Research Fellow in the School of Biology, focuses on the biology of stem cells in Planarians — immortal fresh water flat worms that have the ability to regenerate themselves from just small pieces of their own body.

The significance of Dr Aziz Aboobaker’s work, in the Institute of Genetics, has been recognised with awards through New Investigator Research schemes run by the Biotechnology and Biology Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Medical Research Council (MRC). These schemes target talented early-career scientists and can provide a route into permanent academic positions or funding and ‘protected time’ in which to establish an independent research career.

... more about:
»Aboobaker »Stem »schemes »stem cells

Professor David Greenaway, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research, said: "Winning competitive awards such as these is especially challenging for early career researchers. Dr Aboobaker has done spectacularly well to have won two. This will give his important work on stem cells a real push."

Planarians have an amazing ability to regenerate whole animals from just small fragments — this includes a whole new brain as well as all the other structures that make an animal. The worm’s regenerative abilities are based on a pool of stem cells called neoblasts, collectively these cells are able to divide and change into any missing cell type.

Across the world the Planarian is becoming a model organism for the study of stem cell biology, with established laboratories in the USA, Japan, Spain and now Dr Aboobaker’s lab at Nottingham.

Dr Aboobaker who set up his laboratory in September 2006 said: “The awards have allowed us to get up and running quickly and build a very competitive team of researchers. To have your ideas funded at such an early stage is very encouraging. Our team here at the University has grown from one to 12 in little over a year. We are around six months into the project and we are already getting some really exciting data.”

Dr Aboobaker recently published some of his findings in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America).

The results of this research, in collaboration with a group in Barcelona, showed that the regeneration process requires a gene that is very similar to one implicated in cell death in humans. Their study indicated that removal of old tissues and structures is just as important as the production of new ones from dividing stem cells.

Dr Aboobaker said: “When planarians regenerate from small pieces much of what they do is remodeling. That small piece, which might be mostly muscle or nerves, not only has to make a whole new brain, mouth or gut, it has to get rid of the existing cells that aren’t appropriate anymore.”

Dr Cristina Gonzalez-Estevez, the lead author and a research fellow working in Dr Aboobaker’s laboratory hopes that studying the basics of this remodeling process in a simple animal that does it all the time as part of its normal day to day life will have important implications for regenerative biology in more complex animals like ourselves.

Professor David Brook, Head of the School of Biology said: "These New Investigator Research schemes are excellent as they make sure new talent isn’t overlooked and it is important for The University of Nottingham that our new researchers secure such 'blue chip' funding. The awards recognise the exciting ideas and projects that Aziz is generating.”

Emma Thorne | alfa
Further information:
http://www.nottingham.ac.uk

Further reports about: Aboobaker Stem schemes stem cells

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Staying in Shape
16.08.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für molekulare Zellbiologie und Genetik

nachricht Chips, light and coding moves the front line in beating bacteria
16.08.2018 | Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Staying in Shape

16.08.2018 | Life Sciences

Diving robots find Antarctic seas exhale surprising amounts of carbon dioxide in winter

16.08.2018 | Earth Sciences

Protein droplets keep neurons at the ready and immune system in balance

16.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>