Four From Asia Among EMBO Young Investigator 2017 Cohort

The European Molecular Biology Organization has inducted 28 new researchers into its Young Investigators Program, including four based in Asia.

AsianScientist (Nov. 9, 2017) – Four scientists from Asia have been selected for the prestigious EMBO Young Investigator Program. They are among a crop of 28 researchers under 40 years of age, hailing from 11 different countries, to be inducted into the program this year. They join a network of 47 current and 417 past Young Investigators who represent some of the best up-and-coming group leaders in the life sciences in the world.

This year, the program received 224 eligible applications, with a 12.5 percent application success rate, which was comparable to previous years. 39 percent of new entrants in the program are women.

Among the four Young Investigators from Asia is Dr. Wan Yue, a senior research scientist at the Genome Institute of Singapore, who studies functional RNA elements in transcriptomes through genome-wide detection of RNA structures. She completed her PhD at Stanford University and, in 2014, became the first Singaporean to win the Branco Weiss Fellowship. In the following year, she was recognized with Singapore’s Young Scientist Award in Biological and Biomedical Sciences at the President’s Science and Technology Awards. She also received the L’Oréal Singapore For Women In Science National Fellowship in 2016.

Assistant Professor Luo Dahai received his PhD from the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU), and studied at Yale University as a postdoctoral research associate before joining NTU’s Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine in 2013. He works on the molecular mechanisms of viral infection and host defense.

The third Singapore-based researcher is Dr. Daniel M. Messerschmidt of the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology Singapore. Messerschmidt obtained his PhD from the Max Planck Institute for Immunobiology in Freiburg, Germany, and moved to Singapore in 2009 to pursue his interests in epigenetic regulation of differentiation and early embryonic development. His lab currently focuses on epigenetic reprogramming and its implications in development and disease.

Last but not least, Assistant Professor Arun K. Shukla from the the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, was the only Young Investigator from India this year. He completed his PhD at the Max Planck Institute of Biophysics, Frankfurt, Germany, under the supervision of Professor Harmut Michel who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1988. Shukla’s research interests revolve around the structure, function and allosteric modulation of G protein-coupled receptors.

Selection to the EMBO Young Investigator Program is recognition of exceptional research and scientific potential. During their three-year tenure, EMBO Young Investigators receive a range of benefits, including an award of 15,000 euros and possible additional funds to support the establishment of their first independent laboratories.

Laboratory management and non-scientific skills training as well as PhD courses offer the young group leaders and their students the chance to develop professional skills. The scientists also receive access to core facilities at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany, and funding for themselves and their group members to attend conferences.

“It is a pleasure to welcome these outstanding scientists to the EMBO community,” said EMBO Director Professor Maria Leptin. “Between them, they carry out some of the most promising life science research that Europe has to offer, and we look forward to supporting them in their professional and scientific undertakings.”


Source: European Molecular Biology Organization.
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