Three LMB scientists selected as EMBO Young Investigators

The science behind membrane architecture, chromosome replication and cerebral organoids finds EMBO recognition

EMBO awardees (L-R): Wanda Kukulski, Madeline Lancaster and Joseph Yeeles
L-R: Wanda Kukulski, Madeline Lancaster and Joseph Yeeles

Wanda Kukulski, Madeline Lancaster and Joe Yeeles have been elected into the EMBO Young Investigator Programme for a four-year tenure starting January 2020. During this time EMBO will provide financial and practical support as well as networking opportunities for the Young Investigators and their lab members.

Two LMB alumni, Hayley Sharpe and Alexey Amunts, were selected as well. Hayley was a PhD student in Sean Munro’s Group in the LMB’s Cell Biology Division (2006-2011), while Alexey was a postdoc (2010-2016) in Venki Ramakrishnan’s Group in Structural Studies Division. Hayley is now at the Babraham Institute and Alexey is at Stockholm University.

LMB’s researchers are among 27 life scientists under the age of 40 chosen as Young Investigators who are within their first four years as group leaders and have a proven record of scientific excellence. As part of the programme they will have access to a wide range of benefits to support them at this stage of their careers.

Joe, whose lab is interested in the mechanisms of chromosome replication, and how these mechanisms contribute to faithful genome duplication, thinks it’s a great opportunity to interact with other young scientists at the beginning of their independent careers. “The invitation is especially pleasing as it recognises the progress we’ve made since I started my lab at LMB in 2016,” said Joe Yeeles, Group Leader in PNAC Division.

Wanda’s research interests are focused on the role of membrane architecture at contact sites between two organelles, and dynamic changes of mitochondrial membranes. This prestigious selection is a boost to her research. “Being selected for this programme is a sign that my group’s work on membrane architecture is recognised as being interesting and exciting, which is a big motivation to advance it further,” said Wanda Kukulski, Group Leader in Cell Biology Division.

Madeline’s work is centred around understanding human brain development in cerebral organoids, and she is looking forward to being a part of this prestigious group of investigators and alumni. “The support for collaborations and networking makes this program truly unique, and will open up new directions in our research on human brain development,” said Madeline Lancaster, Group Leader in Cell Biology Division.

The Young Investigator Programme was started in 2000. These researchers selected this year are based in 13 countries and represent 15 different nationalities from Europe and beyond. EMBO Director Maria Leptin said, “The first years as an independent researcher can be a particularly challenging time in a scientist’s career, and we look forward to supporting these twenty-seven researchers in establishing their independent careers.”

Further references

Wanda Kukulski’s group page
Madeline Lancaster’s group page
Joe Yeeles’ group page
Alexey Amunts’ group page
Hayley Sharpe’s group page
LMB’s EMBO Young Investigators
EMBO press release