University of Galway researcher elected to European scientific organisation

Wednesday, 10 July 2024

University of Galway
Professor Uri Frank has been elected a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization.

A University of Galway professor whose research focuses on the biology of stem cells has been elected a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), Europe’s leading academy across the life sciences.

Professor Uri Frank, who is based in the University’s Centre for Chromosome Biology, secured the membership in recognition of his research over the past 20 years.

Professor Frank joins two other colleagues from the research centre who have been elected members of EMBO - Professor Brian McStay and Professor Noel Lowndes.

            Speaking about his election, Professor Frank said: "I am delighted to join the international EMBO community, whose members perform basic, curiosity-driven research across the life sciences, contributing essential knowledge for future applications."

Professor Frank's research addresses fundamental questions in the biology of stem cells, focusing on the role of these cells in development and regeneration. His team has established the jellyfish-related animal Hydractinia as a laboratory model organism for this purpose. These highly regenerative animals are unusual as they do not succumb to age-related deterioration, nor do they develop cancer. It is thought that understanding how Hydractinia's stem cells act in mediating these traits will provide insight into how stem cells function in other animals, including those of humans.

Research in Professor Frank’s lab has been funded by Wellcome Trust, Science Foundation Ireland, the US National Science Foundation, the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), and by Human Frontiers Science Program.

After completing his PhD at the University of Amsterdam, Professor Frank went on to train as a postdoctoral scientist at the National Institute of Oceanography in Israel, and continued for two additional postdoc periods, in Jena and Heidelberg in Germany, before joining University of Galway in 2005.

            EMBO Director Fiona Watt said: “The new EMBO Members and Associate Members have made immense contributions to fundamental life science research, and, in many cases, their work has paved the way for innovations that have improved lives and livelihoods around the world. As EMBO marks its 60th anniversary, we celebrate the pivotal roles played by the EMBO Membership in strengthening international life science research and contributing to the EMBO Programmes and activities. I send my warmest congratulations to all those elected.”

EMBO Members guide the execution of the EMBO Programmes and activities, for example by evaluating funding applications, serving on EMBO Council and committees, and contributing to initiatives such as training, policy, outreach and mentorship. New members are nominated and elected by the existing EMBO Membership.


Keywords: Press.

Author: Marketing and Communications Office , NUI Galway
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