Awards of Excellence AWARDS – A GOOD READ – TRANSITIONS A Good Read – Publications from the EMBO community EMBO MEMBERS Honorary Knighthood Nobel laureate Venkatraman Ramakrishnan has been honoured with a knighthood by the royal establishment in London. 58-year-old Ramakrishnan is based at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge. He has been conferred a knighthood “for services to molecular biology” in the New Year Honours List 2012. The Indian-American scientist said the award was a recognition of the numerous contributions that immigrants have made to British society. 2012 Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize EMBO Associate Member Peter Walter of the University of California, San Francisco, US, has been recognized with this award for his “outstanding research achievements in the field of cell biology.” The prize worth 100,000 euros specifically recognizes Walter’s work on how cells cope with stress – insight that has profound implications for under- standing and treating numerous human diseases, including cancer, diabetes, cystic fibrosis and neurodegenerative disorders. The award-giving ceremony will take place in St. Paul’s Church in Frankfurt on 14 March, the birthday of immunologist Paul Ehrlich (1854 – 1915). Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize 2012 EMBO Members Matthias Mann and Nikolaus Rajewsky are to receive the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize – Germany’s most prestigious research award worth 2.5 million euros. Mann, Director at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, receives the award for his work on the development of mass spectrometry procedures for protein analysis. Rajewsky, Professor of Systems Biology at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine Berlin, was recognized for his research on microRNAs and the methodologi- cal and technological advances he and his group have made. The Leibniz Prize 2012 will be awarded to a total of eleven scientists and presented on 27 February 2012 in Berlin. L’ORÉAL-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards for 2012 EMBO Member Frances Ashcroft is one of five female scientists to win the L’ORÉAL-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards for 2012. The 100,000 dollars award recognizes her work in advancing understanding of insulin secre- tion and neonatal diabetes. Ashcroft is a Royal Society Research Professor at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Trinity College Oxford. She says: “This award honours not only myself but also the team of dedicated scientists and collaborators with whom I have worked. I have been enormously fortunate: there is nothing more exciting or more rewarding than discovering something new.” Bonnie Bassler, who spoke at The EMBO Meeting 2011 in Vienna, also received the award. 2011 Victoria Prize EMBO Member Andreas Strasser wins the 2011 Victoria Prize in Australia for his research show- ing that abnormalities in the control of cell death, or apoptosis, can cause autoimmune disease or cancer and prevent tumour cells from responding to anti- cancer therapy. This is Victoria’s highest honour for science and comes with a prize of 50,000 Australian dollars. EMBO YOUNG INVESTIGATORS 2012 HHMI International Early Career Awards EMBO Young Investigators Óscar Fernández-Capetillo and Fyodor A. Kondrashov and EMBO Installation Grantees Luísa M. Figueiredo and Marcin Nowotny are among the top biomedi- cal scientists to receive the inaugural International Early Career Scientist Awards from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The 28 recipients, chosen from 760 applicants, represent a wide range of disciplines, from neuroscience to virology to plant science. The award comes with a prize of 650,000 US dollars. ERC Starting Grant EMBO Young Investigator Anja Groth receives an ERC Starting Grant worth 12.5 million Danish kroner for her research into epigenetics and cellular memory. Other EMBO 2011 Young Investigators who received ERC Starting Grants in 2011 are Ivan Ahel, Ellen Nollen, Akhilesh Reddy, Maria-Elena Torres-Padilla and Marc Veldhoen. Thannhauser (DGVS) Prize EMBO Young Investigator Tom Lüdde receives the Thannhauser Prize from the German Association for Digestive and Metabolic Disorders (DGVS). He wins 10,000 euros for his research into the mechanisms behind the development of liver cancer. A vascular niche and a VEGF/Nrp1 loop regulate the initiation and stemness of skin tumours Cedric Blanpain (EMBO Young Investigator) et al. Nature | 19 October 2011 doi:10.1038/nature10525 Cascades of multisite phosphorylation control Sic1 destruction at the onset of S phase Martin Lepiku (EMBO Installation Grant) et al. Nature | 12 October 2011 doi:10.1038/nature10560 Distinct stem cells contribute to mammary gland development and maintenance Cedric Blanpain (EMBO Young Investigator) et al. Nature | 9 October 2011 doi:10.1038/nature10573 Active-site remodelling in the bifunctional fructose- 1,6-bisphosphate aldolase/ phosphatase Oliver Einsle (EMBO Young Investigator) et al. Nature | 9 October 2011 doi:10.1038/nature10458 Structural basis for cytokinin recognition by Arabidopsis thaliana histidine kinase 4 Michael Hothorn (EMBO Fellow) et al. Nature Chemical Biology 2 October 2011 doi:10.1038/nchembio.667 “Dr. Inder Verma is known worldwide for his scientific creativity and for his conscientiousness and fair- mindedness”, said Ralph Cicerone, president of the National Academy of Sciences. “He is the ideal person to lead PNAS.” As member of the EMBO Global Exchange Committee, Verma is also guiding the activities of the 2010 launched initiative that promotes scientific collabo- ration between researchers across borders. Evidence for interstitial carbon in nitrogenase FeMo cofactor Oliver Einsle (EMBO Young Investigator) et al. Science | 18 November 2011 doi: 10.1126/science.1214025 Chromatin-associated RNA interference components contribute to transcriptional regulation in Drosophila Davide F.V. Corona (EMBO Young Investigator) et al. Nature | 6 November 2011 doi:10.1038/nature10492 The evolution of gene expression levels in mammalian organisms Henrik Kaessmann (EMBO Young Investigator) et al. Nature | 19 October 2011 doi:10.1038/nature10532 Motor antagonism exposed by spatial segregation and timing of neurogenesis Marco Tripodi (EMBO Fellow) et al. Nature | 19 October 2011 doi:10.1038/nature10538 Differential oestrogen receptor binding is associated with clinical outcome in breast cancer Jason S. Carroll (EMBO Young Investigator) et al. Nature | 4 January 2012 doi: 10.1038/nature10730 Ars2 maintains neural stem-cell identity through direct tran- scriptional activation of Sox2 Celia Andreu-Agullo (EMBO Fellow) et al. Nature | 25 December 2011 doi: 10.1038/nature10712 Chemical informatics and target identification in a zebrafish phenotypic screen Alexandra Tolia (EMBO Fellow) et al. Nature Chemical Biology 18 December 2011 doi: 10.1038/NChemBio.732 DNA-binding factors shape the mouse methylome at distal regulatory regions Rabih Murr (EMBO Fellow), Vijay K. Tiwari (EMBO Fellow) et al. Nature | 14 December 2011 doi:10.1038/nature10716 An ankyrin-repeat ubiquitin- binding domain determines TRABID’s specificity for atypical ubiquitin chains Jason W. Chin (EMBO Member), David Komander (EMBO Young Investigator) et al. Nature Structural & Molecular Biology | 11 December 2011 doi:10.1038/nsmb.2169 Appointments EMBO MEMBERS EMBO Associate Member Inder M. Verma was appointed Editor-in-Chief of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the official journal of the Academy. He formally assumed the editorship in November 2011. An American Cancer Society Professor of Molecular Biology at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, Verma was elected to the Academy in 1997 and has served on the Editorial Board of PNAS since 2001. Transitions EMBO MEMBERS EMBO Associate Member, John Mattick, is appointed Executive Director of the Garvan Institute, Sydney, Australia. In making the announcement, Garvan Chairman Bill Ferris said that Professor Mattick was a pioneer in the analyses of the human genome sequence and the critical role of specific DNA sequences in the regulation of gene expression during human development and susceptibility to complex diseases such as cancer and diabetes. “He will take up his appointment early in January 2012 with a mandate to further enhance not only Garvan’s outstanding research through application of the latest technologies but also the translation of its discoveries into new ways to prevent and treat disease.” The next EMBOencounters issue – Summer 2012 – will be dispatched in July 2012. Please send your suggestions, contributions and news to by 4 May 2012. ©2012 EMBO EMBOencounters | Winter 2011|2012 | 19 ©2011 | Peter Glenane Photography