• Young Investigator Award 2007 in Dusseldorf

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Young Investigator Award 2007 in Dusseldorf

Nov 26 2007

This year's science prize awarded by the Hamburg company Eppendorf AG goes to Portugal.

The 2007 award is the 13th research prize awarded by the Hamburg Biotech company to honor outstanding work in biomedical research in Europe. This year, the prize was awarded to Monica Bettencourt-Dias from Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia in Oeiras, Portugal. With this prize, Eppendorf supports young scientists in Europe who are 35 years old or younger.

She receives the Eppendorf Award for her pioneering research on centrosome biogenesis. Through a functional genomics screen in Drosophila, she discovered a key regulator of centrosome duplication. As centrosomes play a central role in cell cycle regulation and function as signaling centers, this research opens up new venues for understanding cell cycle control and for cancer therapy.

Monica Bettencourt-Dias received the prize during a gala dinner attended by over 100 guests from the scientific community and related industry. After opening remarks by Dr. Heinz Gerhard Kohn, Eppendorf AG Board Member for Research and Development, a speech honoring the achievements of this year's prize winner was held by Professor Dr. Kai Simons, Director of the Max-Planck-Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, Germany.

Monica Bettencourt-Dias was born in 1973 in Portugal. She studied biochemistry at the Faculdad de Sciences in Lisbon. She then entered the prestigious Gulbenkian Graduate Programme and did one year of post-graduate courses at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia in Oeiras outside Lisbon. Her PhD was obtained at University College in London under the supervision of Professor Jeremy Brockes. She then moved to the University of Cambridge to do postdoctoral research on cell cycle regulation with Professor David Glover. Since 2006 Monica Bettencourt-Dias has been the group leader at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia in Oeiras.

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