A pioneering MRC research unit in Cambridge focused on the structure, stability and activity of proteins and the engineering of antibodies is closing after 20 years of existence. The MRC Centre for Protein Engineering (CPE) closes its doors at the end of September, following the retirement of its Director, Professor Sir Alan Fersht.
The new building for the LMB has reached the first major stage of completion, known as ‘topping out’, which describes the moment in a construction project where the final beam is placed at the highest point of the building.
The Rt Hon Andrew Lansley CBE MP, performed the ‘topping out’ ceremony today to commemorate this landmark moment in medical research.
Dr Madan Babu, group leader in LMB’s Structural Studies Division, has been selected to deliver the first Royal Society of Chemistry’s Molecular BioSystems Award Lecture at the 2011 American Chemical Society’s Spring Meeting. Madan has been chosen as the recipient for his significant contribution to the field of Systems Biology. He has also just been awarded the 2011 Balfour Lecture by the Genetics Society for his contributions to the areas of Computational Biology and Genetics.
Dr Brad Amos, group leader in LMB’s Structural Studies Division, has been elected as an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Microscopical Society (RMS). The Society aims to advance science and support wider understanding of science and microscopy. Honorary Fellowship is the highest honour that the Society can bestow on an individual, and this award recognises the contributions made by Brad to light microscopy in general and his pioneering contribution to confocal microscopy in particular.
Nobel laureate and former LMB staff scientist, Dr Francis Crick is to be honoured with the naming of a new road, Francis Crick Avenue, on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge. Francis Crick Avenue is part of the new Addenbrooke’s access road, which is due to be opened later in 2010.
Francis joined the MRC Unit in 1949.
A three-week Cycle Challenge run by Cycle Cambridge has seen the LMB victorious in the “corporate” category for organisations with more than 500 members of staff. The winning teams were those which got the highest percentage of staff to cycle for 10 minutes or more over the challenge period. The LMB registered 19.8% of staff cycling, who between them clocked up 8,858 miles over the three-week period.
Dr Venki Ramakrishnan, group leader in LMB’s Structural Studies Division, has been elected as an Honorary Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences. The Academy promotes the translation of advances in medical science into benefits for patients and the population at large: honorary fellowship of the Academy is given in recognition of the highest levels of achievement in medical science.
Venki’s research focuses on the structure and function of the ribosome.
Jason Chin has won the Royal Society of Chemistry’s 2010 Corday-Morgan Prize. The award was made in recognition of Jason’s “pioneering work on genetically encoding the synthesis of novel polymers in cells through development of methods to incorporate, for example, new amino acids”.
The Corday-Morgan Prize is a prestigious award that has been made annually since 1949 for the most meritorious contributions to chemistry. The list of previous winners includes LMB alumnus Fred Sanger (1951).
LMB and the Garvan Institute, Sydney, Australia have set up the Geoffrey Grigg Traveling Fellowship aimed at enabling short scientific exchange visits between the two institutions.
The Fellowship commemorates Geoffrey Grigg, who was an Australian scientist, highly influential in the fields of genetics, molecular biology and DNA research and a pioneer of Australia’s biotechnology industry. Geoffrey visited LMB to work with Fred Sanger in 1972-1974 and Greg Winter in 1988.
Dr Michael Hastings, group leader in LMB’s Neurobiology Division, has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society.
Michael is distinguished for his highly influential contributions to our understanding of biological clocks through the study of the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus in the brain. He was instrumental in unravelling the controls on seasonal cycles of physiology and behaviour.