Esteemed colleagues from reNEW elected members of EMBO

The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Stem Cell Medicine is proud to announce that CEO and Executive Director of reNEW, Professor Mellissa H. Little and Principal Investigator at reNEW’s Copenhagen node, Professor Joshua Brickman, have this year been elected members of the prestigious European Molecular Biology Organization – EMBO.

EMBO, which now has over 2000 peer-elected members, has included 92 Nobel Laureates. Founded on 12 July 1964, after a group of leading European biologists, including Sir John Kendrew, gathered in Ravello, Italy, the organisation’s mission is to drive forward excellence in life sciences. 

Professor Mellissa H. Little is an internationally acclaimed stem cell research scientist, recognised in particular for her pioneering research in kidney regeneration. Having won multiple awards for her work including: Homer Smith Medal, Alfred Newton Richards Award, Julian Wells Medal, GlaxoSmithKline Research Excellence Award and Eureka Prize, Professor Little is known worldwide for being the first to grow a kidney in vitro.

“I’m most proud of being recognised as a champion for biomedical research across my career, whether that’s for the sector as a whole, or for junior researchers or for women in science, I’ve had a lot of opportunities to capitalise on having a voice in the scientific community,” said Professor Little.

Professor Joshua Brickman is known for his work on gene regulation and, in particular, for his ability to integrate fundamental molecular mechanism into genuine cell-based decisions in development and differentiation. His group at reNEW, Copenhagen node asks how signaling between cells turns genes on and off. Professor Brickman is also a professor of stem cell and developmental biology at the University of Copenhagen and is a leading scientist in the area of early embryonic stem cell lineage specification.

“As scientists, picking a good question that can be answered by an experiment is not a trivial thing at all. The choice of these questions is rooted in curiosity, a central talent of being a scientist, and goes hand in hand with intuition. I believe that because of this intuition, the questions we are driven to ask are intrinsically interesting and philosophically profound. While this involves a level of subjectivity, the belief that one is exploring the secrets of the universe, fuels great science and one of my central roles as a teacher is to transmit this enthusiasm to my students and help them discover their own profound questions,” said Professor Brickman.

People are elected as EMBO members as a result of outstanding contributions to science and reNEW colleagues Professor Little and Professor Brickman have both said they are honoured to have been elected.

4M euros for research into nuclear metabolism

Associate Professor Jan Żylicz from reNEW Copenhagen node, as part of an international consortium, has been awarded an MSCA Doctoral Networks Grant for project; NUCLEAR – metabolic regulation of genome function and cell identity.

The Serup Group in Copenhagen break new ground on the development of a stem cell therapy to treat diabetes

Assistant Professor Philip Seymour, former Assistant Professor Nina Funa and PhD student Heidi Mjøseng, with colleagues from the Serup Group at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Stem Cell Medicine, reNEW, University of Copenhagen, have had a paper published in Stem Cell Reports investigating further development of a cellular therapy to replace the lost insulin-producing beta cells in type one diabetics.