JIC researcher recognised for her outstanding contribution to science

25th Oct 2011

John Innes Centre reseacrher, Professor Cathie Martin’s contribution to science has been recognised by election to the membership of a leading European life sciences organisation, EMBO. Prof. Martin is one of 46 life scientists from 14 countries being acknowledged for their outstanding scientific contributions by awarding them life-long EMBO membership.

Election to EMBO membership is recognition of the commitment to research excellence and the exceptional achievements made by a life scientist. The new EMBO Members join the ranks of 1,500 of the best researchers in Europe and around the world. They are leaders in their research fields and communities. Professor Martin is the sixth current John Innes Centre scientist to be elected to EMBO Membership, an indication of the regard in which John Innes Centre scientists are held by their peers.

Prof. Martin said:
“I am really honoured to be elected as a member of EMBO. I look forward to being able to contribute to the shape of European Science through my membership and to work hard at promoting the importance of plant research to finding solutions to the challenges that science and societies currently face.”

Professor Dale Sanders FRS, Director of the John Innes Centre said:
‘This prestigious award to Cathie Martin is richly deserved. Cathie has made fundamental contributions to our understanding of factors regulating cell shape in plants and to the way in which plant metabolism can be manipulated to yield nutritionally-enhanced foods.’

Prof. Martin’s research has focussed on cellular specialisation, and she was the first person to identify the genes that regulate cell shape in plants. In particular, her interests have been in how plants use flowers to attract pollinators, and the roles that specialised cell play in this. More recently, she has been co-ordinating research into how diet helps to maintain our health and reduce the risk of chronic disease, and looking at how crop plants can be fortified to help achieve this.

This year EMBO acknowledges 43 European scientists as EMBO Members and three scientists from the USA as Associate Members. The new members include 11 female scientists and the first EMBO Member from Estonia.

EMBO Director Maria Leptin said: “We are happy to welcome the new EMBO Members into the EMBO community and look forward to the infusion of knowledge that they bring.”

EMBO Members apply their expertise and insight to select the many talented scientists that EMBO supports each year to do the best science. As a result, EMBO Members collectively influence the future directions of life science and strengthen research communities across Europe. By encouraging cross-border interactions, EMBO Members ensure that Europe is a unified community of excellence where top-level life science thrives.

The 46 scientists recognized by EMBO represent a vivid cross-section of the life sciences from molecular biology and plant sciences, to neuroscience, computational neurobiology and cellular immunology.

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