The LMB is delighted to announce the appointment of Kelly Nguyen as a Group Leader in the LMB’s Structural Studies Division. She will take up her post in August 2019. Kelly will be working on the mechanism of telomere maintenance. Telomeres are located at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes and play essential roles in maintaining genome stability by protecting the genome against erosion and inter-chromosomal fusion. Telomere dysfunction is strongly linked to cancers and premature ageing diseases.
To better understand the underlying mechanism of how cells maintain telomeres, Kelly’s group will use a combination of biochemistry, structural biology and in vivo functional studies. During her postdoctoral work, Kelly helped determine the long-awaited structure of human telomerase, a large protein-RNA complex that maintains telomeres by synthesising the 3’ telomeric repeats at chromosome ends. At the LMB, she will continue exploring different processes involved in telomere maintenance and how disease mutations lead to telomere dysfunction.
Kelly added “I have always been fascinated by visualising the 3D structures of macromolecules, especially those of protein-nucleic acid complexes, and how these structures can tell us so much about function. The LMB has a long-standing history of supporting scientists who want to pursue challenging long-term projects. In addition to the amazing core facilities, the LMB nurtures a collaborative environment that really helps make science move forward faster. I am very excited about starting my lab at the LMB”
Kelly completed a Ph.B (honours) degree in Chemistry at the Australian National University, followed by a PhD in Molecular Biology at the LMB with Kiyoshi Nagai. In 2016, she was awarded a Miller Research Fellowship, hosted by Eva Nogales and Kathleen Collins at the University of California, Berkeley, to work on the structure of human telomerase holoenzyme.