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Jürgen Knoblich receives ELSO Early Career Award

19 Sep 2003

The ELSO (European Life Scientist Organization) honors Jürgen Knoblich for his pioneering work in the field of developmental biology. The award will be presented on 23 September, 2003 during the conference "ELSO 2003" in Dresden.

Jürgen Knoblich and his team at the IMP are dedicated to the phenomenon of asymmetric cell division. In order to produce the numerous different cell types in a multicellular organism, the development of the embryo occasionally leads to cell divisions (mitoses) from which two different daughter cells emerge. Even before such asymmetric cell divisions occur, certain proteins are distributed unevenly in the cell. During mitosis, they then migrate into only one of the two daughter cells that are formed, which makes it fundamentally different from its "sister". In order to understand this complex process, Knoblich's group is investigating the development of the nervous system in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster.

“His research work is extremely concise," says the developmental biologist Daniel St. Johnston about Jürgen Knoblich. "He is a pioneer in his field and knows how to combine many different approaches - from genetics to mass spectrometry. And he seems to succeed in everything with ease.”

Jürgen Knoblich has already worked with Drosophila for his doctoral thesis. At the Friedrich Miescher Lab in Tübingen, he worked in Christian Lehner's group on the function of cyclin proteins in embryonic development. As a postdoctoral student in Heidelberg and later in San Francisco, his fascination with the fruit fly as model organism continued. Since 1997, Jürgen Knoblich has been a group leader at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) which carries out basic research in Vienna.

"This is a very nice recognition of my work," said Knoblich, who is delighted by the award. "I have great respect for ELSO's achievements, which is why the award honors me so much".