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Johannes Zuber elected EMBO Member

06 Jul 2022

IMP senior scientist Johannes Zuber is one of only 58 newly elected members of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO). The rare distinction recognises Zuber’s pivotal contributions to functional cancer genomics.

“I am very happy to become part of this community of excellence,” says Johannes Zuber in reaction to his election to full EMBO membership. Zuber is one of 58 new full members from 15 countries to join the organisation this year. He had previously been a member of EMBO’s Young Investigator Program (YIP).

“More than ever, research is a collaborative effort and networks such as EMBO are extremely valuable for scientific exchange,” says Johannes Zuber. “I look forward to contributing to this network. And I would like to thank my lab and the IMP for enabling the science that was recognised in my nomination and election.”

As an international network of life scientists, EMBO's major goals are to support talented researchers at all stages of their careers, stimulate the exchange of scientific information, and help build a European research environment where scientists can achieve their best work. EMBO directs funding from its member states towards research fellowships, courses, workshops, conferences, and science policy initiatives. The organisation also publishes scientific journals. Past and present EMBO members include 90 Nobel Laureates. Johannes Zuber’s election raises the number of EMBO members among the current faculty to seven out of 14 – an extraordinary share.

Additional reason for joy comes from the election of two IMP alumni and long-standing friends of the institute: Frank Schnorrer (IDBM, France) and Carlos Ribeiro (Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown), both former postdocs with IMP emeritus director Barry Dickson.

Johannes Zuber studied medicine and received a doctorate in molecular cancer research at the Charité Medical School in Berlin, Germany, where he also completed four years of clinical training in haematology and oncology. During his postdoctoral research at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (New York, USA), he developed experimentally tractable leukaemia models and advanced RNAi technologies. He applied these technologies to identify chromatin-associated dependencies in leukaemia and other cancers before joining the IMP in 2011, where he set up his own lab.

Zuber and his team develop innovative functional genetic tools for CRISPR- and RNAi-based screens and time-resolved transcriptomics. The lab applies these techniques to identify and functionally characterise dependencies and candidate targets in cancer and tumour-associated immune cells. In recent work, Zuber and his team have clarified primary functions of transcriptional regulators in cancer such as MYC and BRD4 and elucidated pathways that control their activity. Among them, they discovered the pathway that controls the nuclear import of proteasomes in animals.

Zuber’s research achievements have previously been recognised by the “Deutscher Krebspreis” (the most prestigious cancer research award in Germany) in 2016 and several competitive grants, including an ERC Starting Grant and participation in the EMBO Young Investigator Program. In 2017, he was appointed as Adjunct Professor of the Medical University in Vienna, and in 2020 he was exceptionally tenured as Senior Scientist at the IMP, only the fifth junior group leader to be promoted in the history of the institute at the time. Johannes Zuber has published 168 peer-reviewed research papers, which have been cited more than 16,000 times.

Further reading

Latest published research in the Zuber Lab

Andrea Pauli elected EMBO member