Andrea Ablasser and Melanie Blokesch elected EMBO Members
The European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) has announced 56 outstanding life scientists elected to membership, joining a group of more than 1800 of the best researchers in Europe and the world. Among the new members are Professors Andrea Ablasser and Melanie Blokesch at EPFL’s Global Health Institute.
“I had tears of joy in my eyes when I learnt about my election as an EMBO member. Indeed, knowing that some of the best scientists of your field and beyond recognize and support your work is an incredible feeling,” says Melanie Blokesch, who directs the Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology at EPFL. Aiming at understanding pathogen emergence and transmission, her lab studies the molecular mechanisms that play a role in the environmental lifestyle and the evolvability of pathogenic bacteria. “I’ll be delighted to contribute to the EMBO community in the years to come and to also support the next generation of microbiologists," she says.
“This is a great recognition of our scientific contribution,” says Andrea Ablasser, who directs the Laboratory of Innate Immunity at EPFL. Her research aims to understand how immune cells detect the presence of foreign DNA as well as “out-of-context” self-DNA. While representing a fundamental strategy for host defense, erroneous sensing of self-DNA can also promote maladaptive inflammation. “A major current goal is to inspire efforts for implementing strategies that interfere with innate DNA-sensing mechanisms to treat inflammatory diseases in humans more efficiently,” she says.
“EMBO Members are excellent scientists who conduct research at the forefront of all life science disciplines, ranging from computational models or analyses of single molecules and cellular mechanics to the study of higher-order systems in development, cognitive neuroscience and evolution,” says EMBO Director Maria Leptin.
The Members actively participate in the execution of EMBO’s initiatives by serving on its Council, committees, and editorial boards by evaluating applications for EMBO funding, by mentoring young scientists and by providing suggestions and feedback on activities.
The 56 new scientists include 48 Members who reside in 17 Member States of the European Molecular Biology Conference (EMBC), EMBO’s intergovernmental funding body. The other eight scientists are elected as EMBO Associate Members, and are researchers currently working in Argentina, Australia, Japan, Singapore, and the US.
EMBO will formally welcome its new Members and Associate Members at the annual Members’ Meeting in Heidelberg between 29 and 31 October 2019. An online directory with all existing and new EMBO Members is available at people.embo.org.