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FMI

July 18, 2018

New EMBO and HFSP fellows at FMI


This summer four FMI postdocs have been awarded an EMBO fellowship and one an HFSP fellowship. These fellowships spark huge interest among young researchers but are rare, and hard to get. We congratulate our new fellows and are proud of the fact that nearly 20% of our postdocs at the FMI are here on either a Marie Curie, an EMBO or an HFSP fellowship.

These fellowships not only reward the hard work and talent of these young researchers, but they are also a sign of the confidence that the granting organizations place in the research done at the FMI. They will fund the work of the researchers for a few years (two in the case of EMBO, three in the case of HFSP) and will be a great boost for their career. Here you can learn a bit more about each of the new fellow.

Jacob Aguirre (EMBO fellow) joined the group of Nicolas Thomä at the FMI in September 2017. He is Canadian-Mexican and holds a PhD from the University of Western Ontario, Canada. Jacob is researching the molecular mechanism by which DNA replication is terminated. Specifically, he is studying how ubiquitin ligases, the most diverse group of signalling enzymes in the genome, target the eukaryotic helicase (CMG) to be disassembled once DNA replication has been completed - using various structural and biophysical techniques, including NMR spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography and, more recently, cryo electron microscopy (cryo-EM).

Onkar Joshi (EMBO fellow) joined the group of Filippo Rijli in May 2017. He is Indian and holds a PhD from Radboud Institute of Molecular Life Sciences, Nijmegen, the Netherlands. The research question he is trying to answer is: How does dynamics in 3D chromatin structure affect 3D craniofacial morphogenesis? The hypothesis he is exploring is related to how transcriptional switch from a repressed to an active chromatin state could potentially correlate with specific changes in 3D chromatin structure underlying specific morphogenetic programs.

Stephen Methot (EMBO Fellow) joined the group of Susan Gasser in November 2017. He was born and raised in Canada, but also has Cypriot citizenship. He did his PhD in Immunology, in Montreal studying Immunology. He is currently studying how repetitive DNA elements are silenced by H3K9 methylation in C. elegans. This is important, because de-repression of these elements causes genomic instability and is correlated with cancer and aging.

Alicia Michael (HFSP Fellow) joined the group of Nicolas Thomä in August 2017. She is American and did her PhD at University of California, Santa Cruz. She is investigating the molecular details of the interaction between pioneer transcription factors and nucleosomes, using single particle cryo-EM. These structural studies, together with biochemistry and cell biology, aim to understand the molecular mechanisms that underlie recognition of specific-DNA motifs by diverse families of transcription factors in the context of the closed chromatin.

Gustavo Quintas Glasner de Medeiros (EMBO Fellow) joined the group of Prisca Liberali in January 2018. He is Brazilian and did his PhD at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg. Within the scope of his FMI project, he is looking at the main mechanisms that govern symmetry-breaking events during early intestinal organoid formation from a dynamical perspective, mainly by combining quantitative light-sheet imaging allied with photoablation and optogenetics. The idea is to have a highly spatiotemporally resolved understanding of the molecular and mechanical feedback that together lead to the emergence of the first fully differentiated cell out of a homogeneous and symmetrical cyst.


More about the EMBO postdoctoral fellowships
More about the HFSP postdoctoral Fellowships
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