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IMP Group Leader Manuel Zimmer elected EMBO member

14 May 2018

The European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) announced today that 62 distinguished scientists were newly elected to its membership, including IMP Group Leader Manuel Zimmer. He will be one of six EMBO members among the 16-strong IMP faculty.

For research institutes such as the IMP, membership of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) among faculty is an indicator of academic excellence. Through Manuel Zimmer’s election, six of 16 IMP faculty members are now also members of EMBO. Kikuë Tachibana of the neighbouring Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) was elected EMBO member in the same cohort, increasing the total number of EMBO members among Vienna BioCenter faculty to 24.

Manuel Zimmer addresses a fundamental question in neuroscience: how do neural circuits in the brain compute information to interpret the sensory world, make decisions and generate competent behaviours? Using a whole-brain imaging approach developed in his lab and the roundworm C. elegans as a model organism, Manuel Zimmer and his team can record the activity of all neurons of the animal, in real-time and with single cell resolution. This enables them to perform computer analyses of both, how the brain acts a whole as well as at the level of its individual neuronal units. The EMBO membership comes almost exactly one year after Manuel Zimmer was selected HHMI-Wellcome International Research Scholar.

Manuel Zimmer is highly appreciative of joining this network of leading molecular biologists and emphasises the fertile ground the IMP provided for his scientific career: “Facilities, support and the amazing collaborative scientific environment at IMP gave me unlimited academic freedom and enabled me to perform top-notch research into new directions.”

Zimmer has been a group leader at the IMP since 2010. Prior to his current position, he was a postdoc in the lab of Cori Bargmann at the University of San Francisco and the Rockefeller University in New York. For his PhD from LMU Munich, he carried out research at EMBL in Heidelberg and the Max-Planck-Institute of Neurobiology in Martinsried.

“EMBO Members are leading scientists working across all of the life sciences. They also strengthen the research community in Europe and beyond through their international collaborations and connections,” says EMBO Director Maria Leptin.

EMBO is an organization of more than 1800 leading molecular biologists that promotes excellence in the life sciences. EMBO aims to support talented researchers at all stages of their careers, to stimulate the exchange of scientific information, and to help build a European research environment where scientists can achieve their best work.

The new EMBO Members will be formally welcomed at the Members’ Meeting in Heidelberg between 24 and 26 October 2018. An online directory with all existing and new EMBO Members is available at

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