June 2014 | ISSUE 12
LKCMedicine Professor elected to Europe's most prestigious life sciences organisation

LKCMedicine Visiting Professor Per-Olof Berggren has been elected to Europe’s most prestigious life sciences organisation, the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO). He joins an elite group of more than 1,600 life scientists from around the world, including three more LKCMedicine scientists – LKCMedicine Vice-Dean for Research Professor Philip Ingham FRS, Professor of Structural Biology Daniela Rhodes FRS and Professor of Metabolic Diseases Walter Wahli.

Prof Berggren joins an elite group of more than 1,600 life scientists from around the world

Founded exactly half a century ago, EMBO’s main 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.

Prof Berggren’s induction to EMBO is in recognition of his pioneering work on the fundamental mechanisms regulating the stimulus-response coupling in the endocrine pancreas with several seminal contributions within the fields of insulin secreting pancreatic beta-cell Ca2+ handling, phosphorylated inositol compounds and insulin receptor operated signalling.

He is a leading expert in experimental endocrinology with more than 380 peer-reviewed articles in international journals and holds several appointments at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.

Prof Ingham was elected to EMBO in 1995 in recognition of his contributions to our understanding of the genetic control of animal development.

With more than 160 papers – including four Citation Classics - published in top-ranking international journals, Prof Ingham’s research has provided fundamental insights into cell signalling and gene regulation in the developing embryo. Of particular note is his elucidation of the Hedgehog signalling pathway, the aberrant activity of which is implicated in many cancers.

Prof Rhodes was elected to EMBO in 1996 in recognition of her contributions to the area of chromosome biology. Her work has provided fundamental insights into the packaging of DNA in chromosomes, the structure of telomeres and how specific proteins, such as transcription factors, recognise DNA sequences to regulate transcription.

Prof Wahli was elected to EMBO in 1998 for his internationally renowned work in discovering the medically-relevant peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR). Interest in PPARs was sparked by their involvement in several clinically relevant processes, including lipid and sugar metabolism, adipogenesis, inflammation, wound healing and embryo implantation. Prof Wahli has published close to 300 papers in top-ranking journals, book chapters and editorials.