Frank Uhlmann was a postdoc in the lab of Kim Nasmyth from 1997 to 2000. Today, he has his own lab at the Francis Crick Institute in London - and fond memories of his time in Vienna.
The EMBO Gold Medal is awarded annually to a young European researcher for outstanding contributions to research in the molecular life sciences. Widely regarded as the most prestigious award of its kind in Europe, the Gold Medal highlights the standards being reached by European researchers - bringing the very best of these to the attention of a global audience.
Frank Uhlmann, who is now a Principal Scientist at Cancer Research UK's London Research Institute, received the award "in recognition of a decade of extraordinary work that has revolutionised our understanding of the cell cycle and opened the door to new possibilities in cancer treatment," according to Frank Gannon, EMBO Executive Director.
Frank completed his PhD at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. From 1997 to 2000, he was a Postdoc in Kim Nasmyth's group at the IMP before taking up a group leader position at the London Research Institute. During his time at the IMP, Frank combined novel techniques in biochemistry, cell biology and genetics to uncover the trigger for one of the most significant events in the life of eukaryotic cells - mitosis, the process whereby cells divide and split their duplicated genomes between two daughter cells.
He found that a protein, now called "separase", cuts cohesive links between the duplicated chromosomes, triggering their movement towards the daughter cells. Frank says about his time at the IMP “I had a fantastic time in Vienna. The great research all around us in the institute, and the collegial spirit of sharing the enthusiasm about each other’s work, this created a unique atmosphere to live and enjoy science!”
As Head of the Chromosome Segregation Laboratory, Frank has built on his earlier discoveries - defining modes of separase regulation and uncovering other ways in which the protein orchestrates intricate processes during mitosis and ensures that separated chromosomes move away from each other successfully. His group has also gone on to decipher the role of the crucial "cohesin” protein on a genome-wide scale.
In addition to the EMBO Gold Medal, Frank has received several other awards including the 2005 Hooke Medal from the British Society for Cell Biology. In 2002, he was selected for the EMBO Young Investigator Programme, a highly competitive programme renowned for its scientific excellence. Congratulations, Frank!
By Heidemarie Hurtl; first published in 2007
Alumni Stories: quick links
Angelika Amon - Jörg Betschinger - Sarah Bowman - Rafal Ciosk - Greg Emery - Silke Hauf - Christian Häring - Konrad Hochedlinger - Andrea Hutterer - Claudine Kraft - Christoph Lengauer - Marieke von Lindern - Mark Petronczki - Walter Schmidt - Camilla Sjögren - Andrew Straw - Giulio Superti-Furga - Frank Uhlmann - Hartmut Vodermaier