Chris Tate and Marta Zlatic, Group Leaders in the LMB’s Structural Studies Division and Neurobiology Division, respectively, have been newly elected as members of EMBO.
EMBO is an organisation of more than 1800 leading researchers that aims to stimulate the exchange of scientific information, help build a research environment where scientists can achieve their best work, and support talented researchers at all career stages. New members are elected annually, by the existing membership, in recognition of their contribution to scientific excellence.
Membrane proteins perform a variety of fundamentally important functions, including allowing import of nutrients and facilitating intercellular communication. Chris’ group’s research aims to understand these processes by determining the structures of important and interesting membrane proteins, with a particular focus on G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs).
GPCRs respond to a variety of stimuli including hormones, neurotransmitters, and ions, and their wide range of functions makes them attractive drug targets for many different diseases. Chris’ group has determined high resolution structures of GPCRs bound to different agonists, improving our molecular understanding of how these receptors work and providing information that could allow the design of more specific drugs that are better able to direct a desired response through a particular receptor, resulting in fewer side-effects.
“The election to EMBO Membership is of course a great honour and will enhance my interactions with the superb scientists throughout Europe. The strength of the scientific community in Europe is amazing and we all benefit enormously from being a member of this family.”
A main aim of Marta’s group’s work is to understand how neuronal circuitry enables animals to learn and select actions, as well as to investigate the structural changes in the brain that are involved in storing memories.
Before joining the LMB in 2019, Marta had developed a powerful approach that combines connectomincs with physiology and behaviour in the tractable Drosophila larva to study the circuit implementation of neural computations. Her group has discovered basic principles of circuits that mediate multisensory integration, action-selection, and learning.
“I was extremely honoured to become an EMBO member and really happy our work has been recognised in this way. I am really excited about the new opportunities this will open for exciting interactions with outstanding scientists across Europe.”
We would also like to congratulate LMB alumnus Sascha Martens who has also been newly elected to EMBO membership. Sascha was a postdoctoral researcher with Harvey McMahon’s group in the LMB’s Neurobiology Division before going on to start his own group at the Max Perutz Labs in Vienna.