EMBO YOUNG INVESTIGATORS & INSTALLATION GRANTEES IN PERSON MEET THE SCIENTISTS ANJA GROTH NURHAN ÖZLÜ ESBEN LORENTZEN In late 2011, EMBO selected 22 researchers to join the EMBO Young Investigator Programme and seven scientists as recipients of EMBO Installation Grants (see page 6). EMBOencounters interviewed some of these talented young scientists about what the benefits of funding mean for their research. BENJAMIN PRUD’HOMME MARKUS RALSER Benjamin Prud’homme Developmental Biology Institute of Marseilles-Luminy 2011 EMBO Young Investigator Benjamin’s lab is interested in understanding the evolution and development of morphology and behaviour. What does being selected as an EMBO Young Investigator mean for your research? It is a very pleasant recognition of the work we’re doing by a pres- tigious organization. Being part of the EMBO Young Investigator community is a fantastic oppor- tunity to expand our scientific network. Our research bridges multiple disciplines, relying on different concepts and technical skills. Interacting with other labs is absolutely key. The Young Investigator community means we can meet and interact with fellow biologists to broaden our horizons. Nurhan Özlü Koç University, Istanbul 2011 EMBO Installation Grantee Nurhan’s research focuses on the regulation of cell division. Having received an EMBO Installation Grant, she left Harvard Medical School to set up her lab at Koç University, Istanbul. How do you feel about this opportunity to take your research back to Turkey? Moving back to Turkey and starting a new laboratory are significant challenges and require a lot of effort. Here at Koç University there is a very stimulat- ing scientific environment and our department attracts highly moti- vated and hard-working students. As an independent investigator, I find receiving funds to establish a strong research programme in Turkey very rewarding. Living in Istanbul is fun and there is a rich cultural life here. Esben Lorentzen Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Martinsried 2011 EMBO Young Investigator Esben’s group is trying to under- stand the detailed mechanisms of ciliary transport by studying the protein complexes involved in this process. What does being selected as an EMBO Young Investigator mean for your group? My group has good reason to be proud as the selection was based on the science they have done over the past two and a half years. Additionally, the extra funding provided by EMBO for students to go to conferences, workshops and do exchange visits with other groups to learn new techniques is very valuable. Markus Ralser University of Cambridge 2011 EMBO Young Investigator Markus’s group investigates the regulatory function of the meta- bolic network and how metabolic intermediates are implicated in the control of biological systems. What does being selected as an EMBO Young Investigator mean for your group? Science is about communication, but most programmes for young principal investigators do not take this into account. Being part of the EMBO Young Investigator Programme network means we are better connected, which means broader access to technol- ogy and an exciting exchange of ideas. Anja Groth Biotech Research and Innovation Centre, Copenhagen 2011 EMBO Young Investigator Anja’s lab aims to identify and characterize novel mechanisms involved in chromatin regulation and understand the implica- tions for epigenetic and genetic stability. What does being selected as an EMBO Young Investigator mean for you? The Young Investigator Programme is important because it gives visibility to our research and the lab. This is always good because it can result in invitations to speak at international meetings. I hope this visibility will inspire highly motivated and driven young researchers to apply for PhD and postdoctoral positions in the lab. For an in-depth interview with Nurhan, listen to the EMBO podcast: www.embo.org/rss/podcast.xml (9:23 minutes) ©2012 EMBO EMBOencounters | Winter 2011|2012 | communications@embo.org 7 ©IBDML ©Harvard Medical School ©University of Cambridge ©MPI Martinsried ©Pernille Ringsing ApS