Madan Babu Mohan, group leader in the LMB’s Structural Studies Division, has been awarded the Royal Society Francis Crick Medal and Lecture 2016. The medal was awarded for his major and widespread contributions to computational biology.
Many human diseases develop when regulatory processes fail. Madan’s research aims to decipher the basis for this. His group is interested in understanding how mutations in the structured and intrinsically disordered regions of protein affect the different regulatory networks and contribute to disease.
Within this context, Madan’s lab focuses on understanding how regulation is achieved in cellular systems at different levels of complexity: from the molecular level to the systems and the genome level. At the molecular level, the group study regulatory and signalling proteins to understand the mechanisms involved. At the systems level, they investigate how the different regulatory mechanisms contribute to cellular homeostasis and how mutations that disrupt these regulatory networks cause disease. At the genome level, they investigate the impact of mutations on genome and transcriptome evolution.
The group use a combination of computational approaches involving sequence, structural, and evolutionary analyses. His group also develops novel integrative approaches that use expression data, comparative genomics, network data, genomic variation and phenotype data. Recently, his group is also using yeast as a model organism to discover general principles of gene regulation.
The Royal Society recognises excellence in science and technology through its medals, awards and prize lectures. The Francis Crick Medal and Lecture is given annually in any field in the biological sciences. Preference is given to genetics, molecular biology and neurobiology, the general areas in which Francis Crick worked, and to fundamental theoretical work, which was the hallmark of Crick’s science. Previous LMB winners include Sarah Teichmann (2012) and Jason Chin (2009).
Madan will deliver the prize lecture in December 2016, as part of the Royal Society’s public programme of events.