Anne Bertolotti, group leader in the LMB’s Neurobiology Division, has been elected a Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences for her contribution to understanding protein quality control systems and their therapeutic manipulations.
The Academy represents the diverse spectrum of medical sciences – from basic research through clinical application to healthcare delivery. Their mission is to promote medical science and its translation into benefits for society. Academy Fellows are elected based on excellence in medical research, their contribution to medicine and society and are drawn from a range of professions.
Anne joined the LMB as a group leader in 2006. Her lab is interested in understanding the mechanisms underlying the deposition of proteins of abnormal conformation in cells, a hallmark of many pathological conditions, such as neurodegenerative diseases. In addition, she is looking at strategies that can help cells boost their natural defences against misfolded proteins, aiming to correct numerous conditions characterised by the accumulation of these misfolded proteins. Anne has made outstanding contributions to our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underpinning neurodegenerative diseases and discovered a new drug candidate (Sephin1) that brings hope for the treatment of some age-related diseases. Sephin1 is the first selective inhibitor of a serine-threonine phosphatase. This represents an important discovery because phosphatases were thought to be undruggable. Sephin1 is selective because it targets the regulatory subunit of a phosphatase. There are hundreds of phosphatases that could in principle be inhibited using the same paradigm opening up a broad range of possibilities to safely and selectively manipulate cellular functions, perhaps for therapeutic benefit.
Anne becomes the 18th LMB scientist elected as a Fellow by the UK Academy of Medical Sciences since its foundation in 1998.