Triple departmental success in recent EMBO honours
Doctor Rob Klose
Three researchers in the Biochemistry department are recognised in recent awards from the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO).
Dr Rob Klose, a research fellow in the department, is one of a group of 21 researchers selected to join the network of EMBO Young Investigators. This highly sought after programme is for some of the most promising European young researchers and is designed to enhance their careers during the transition to independent group leaders, a critical stage in their careers.
As an EMBO Young Investigator, Dr Klose will receive a diverse range of benefits over the three years of the award. These include training in lab management and in other non-scientific skills. Support is also provided for small research projects in the lab.
Professor Judy Armitage
The network of almost 250 Young Investigators organises specialised meetings where groups can meet and discuss their work and forge new collaborations. Also valuable are meetings which bring the Young Investigators together with recognised scientific leaders such as EMBO Members and other experts.
Dr Klose is interested in how mammalian cells use chemical modifications of DNA and associated histone proteins as part of the regulatory system controlling gene activity. These modifications, known as epigenetic changes, play a crucial role in ensuring that cells respond appropriately to the signals they receive from their environment.
The other two honours in the department are for Professors Judy Armitage and Ilan Davis who have been awarded EMBO membership, a life-long honour that recognises their outstanding research contributions. They join a membership of 1500 of the world's leading molecular biologists who are involved in many aspects of the organisation's work, helping to shape the direction of life sciences in Europe. This year, five of the 63 scientists chosen from 14 countries across the world are at the University of Oxford.
Professor Ilan Davis
Both researchers work in fields where they apply cutting-edge technologies to understand fundamental biological problems. Professor Armitage is Director of the BBSRC-funded Oxford Centre for Integrative Systems Biology. Her research focuses on the bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides, which uses a tail-like flagella to move around. She investigates how specialised proteins relay changes in the bacterium's environment to the flagella rotary motor that drives its movement.
Professor Davis' research explores the phenomenon of intracellular sorting of RNA, which involves transporting different molecules within cells and their retention at the correct destinations. He uses highly sensitive microscopy techniques to visualise RNA molecules moving in living cells in order to determine the mechanism by which this process controls gene expression and pattern formation during development.