11 February 2019 – The FEBS | EMBO Women in Science Award recognizes outstanding achievements of female researchers in the life sciences. In addition, the recipients are role models who inspire future generations of scientists.
Sara Linse receives the award for her contribution to the understanding of the molecular mechanisms of protein self-assembly in Alzheimer’s disease and related neurodegenerative disorders. In addition, the award recognizes her varied activities in support of science and society.
Linse says about receiving the award: “This is an extreme honor and a tribute to curiosity-driven basic science.”
Daniel Otzen of Aarhus University, Denmark, a research colleague in the amyloid field, says: “Sara Linse’s first article on protein aggregation really was a game changer. She courageously decided to tackle one of the most difficult peptides in the field, namely the amyloid beta (Aβ) peptide, which is critical in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.” And, he adds, having built on her earlier work on Aβ aggregation, “she is well on her way to developing therapies against Alzheimer’s disease based on her exquisite biophysical and molecular insight.”
Linse is known as a generous colleague and collaborator who shares ideas, results and samples freely and enthusiastically. She also serves the scientific community through her work on numerous committees, which includes chairing the Nobel Prize Committee for Chemistry. In addition, she has authored eight children’s books and founded two organizations committed to supporting children and young adults with autism and mental illness.
“Sara Linse is an astonishing role model who inspires other women to pursue careers in science and illustrates how it is possible to have a family life, support those with special needs, play vital roles in promoting scientific excellence, as well as carrying out original research of the highest quality,” says EMBO Member Chris Dobson, University of Cambridge, UK.
The 2019 FEBS | EMBO Women in Science Award of 10,000 euros and a bronze statuette will be presented to Linse on 7 July 2019 at the FEBS Congress in Krakow, Poland, where she will present a plenary lecture.
Sara Linse studied at Lund University, Sweden, and Stanford University, USA, before completing her PhD on the topic of cooperativity of calcium binding in calmodulin and calbindin D9k at Lund University in 1993. She has remained at the university, where she now holds the position of Professor in Physical Chemistry and Molecular Protein Science.
Linse’s current research interests span a range of different topics. These include calcium signalling networks, non-covalent interactions in proteins, the stabilization of proteins for therapeutic purposes, and biological risks of nanoparticles. Furthermore, she continues to work on protein amyloid formation, including the aggregation process, the influence of intrinsic and extrinsic factors and co-aggregation between lipids and amyloid proteins.
Linse has received numerous awards for her work, including the Cozzarelli Prize awarded by the National Academy of Sciences, USA (2007), the IUPAC Distinguished Woman in Chemistry prize (2011), and Sweden’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology’s Great Prize (2014).