EMBL's pride in its community extends beyond the duration of a fellowship, contract or visit – we celebrate the achievements and efforts of our alumni, sometimes long after their time at EMBL. The John Kendrew Award recognises excellence in science and/or science communication, while the Lennart Philipson Award – inaugurated this year – recognises outstanding contributions to translational research in human health and/or technology innovation in the life sciences. Meet the newest awardees.
“Outstanding, fearless, remarkable…”
Selected for outstanding achievements – including fearless and novel scientific approaches, remarkable examples of collaboration, and active engagement in science communication –, alumna Melina Schuh has been awarded the 2015 John Kendrew Young Scientist Award. Melina, who was a PhD student in the Genome Biology Unit (2004–8), went on to become group leader at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology, in the UK. Her group has made several major findings in the field of fertilisable eggs in mammals, providing important insights into fundamental cellular mechanisms. Melina is also engaged in an initiative called ‘Meeting of Minds’, which brings together practitioners from the fields of science and art, to communicate science to a wider audience – work currently touring Europe as part of the ‘Lens on Life’ exhibition.
“He revolutionised cryo-EM…”
Jacques Dubochet, former group leader in the Structural and Computational Biology Unit (1978–87), is the winner of the first ever Lennart Philipson Award. The prize, set up in honour of EMBL’s second Director General, recognises outstanding contributions to translational research and technology innovation. Jacques is one of the founding fathers of cryo-electron microscopy (cryoEM), revolutionising single particle cryoEM and cryo-electron tomography of vitreous sections of high-pressure frozen tissue. In parallel, he developed cryoEM of vitreous sections (CEMOVIS), which has significant potential to become a powerful method in the future. He was selected for his pioneering work beginning in the late 1970s, continuing right up to his retirement in 2011. Jacques is now actively involved in areas such as ethics, philosophy and citizen responsibility.
Like caterpillars turning into beautiful butterflies, fruit fly larvae have to go through metamorphosis to finish their development. However, despite the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster being one of the best studied model organisms in biology, comparatively little attention has been given to this…