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Christine Beattie Award for IMP PhD student Jessica Stock

25 Jun 2021

The International Zebrafish Society (IZFS) announced that this year’s Christine Beattie Award is presented to Jessica Stock, a PhD student in the lab of Andrea Pauli. The award recognises a promising junior researcher who excelled in working with zebrafish. 

The International Zebrafish Society announced Jessica Stock as the winner of the Christine Beattie Award based on her research and presentation “A self-generated Toddler gradient directs mesodermal cell migration during zebrafish gastrulation”. Jessica is a PhD student in the lab of Andrea Pauli, where she studies mechanisms underlying cell migration in early zebrafish embyros.

One of the first steps of embryonic development is the sculpting of germ layers in a process called gastrulation, which strongly relies on the coordinated migration of progenitor cells. Despite the fundamental importance of this process, the molecular cues guiding these directed cell movements are largely unknown. 

In the frame of her doctoral research, Jessica Stock investigated this mystery using directional migration of the mesodermal germ layer in the zebrafish embryo as a model. She found this migration to be guided by a gradient of the secreted protein Toddler. However, unlike most known chemokine gradients, this particular gradient is not caused by a central source, but it is generated by the mesodermal cells themselves.

The Christine Beattie Award recognises one junior investigator each year who “demonstrates excellence in the field of zebrafish research and exhibits promise as a future leader in the zebrafish field”, stated the International Zebrafish Society in its announcment. The award was endowed in memory of the commitment that Christine Beattie, a developmental neurobiologist who passed away in 2018, showed in training the next generation of scientists.

About the Vienna BioCenter PhD Programme

Jessica Stock is a doctoral students of the Vienna BioCenter PhD Programme. Are you interested in a world-class career in molecular biology? 
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