This year saw the highest number of superbly qualified John Kendrew Young Scientist Award candidates, making the job of the selection committee very challenging indeed! Nonetheless, the decision was unanimous with the selection of Katharina Ribbeck as the recipient of the Award.
Katharina, former joint postdoc from the Mattaj and Ellenberg labs, now Assistant Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was singled out for her insight, originality and courage to start a new field of research looking in detail at hydrogels, and especially mucus. She investigates this important and often overlooked subject with imagination and creativity. Her synergistic approach which uses elements from physics to biology makes this technically very challenging.
EMBL Alumni Association board member, Jacqueline Mermoud, summarised Katharina's research as having the potential to have a direct impact on both human health, and in parallel, to uncover fundamental biological principles. She also added during the selection that "her outstanding scientific achievements are coupled with creative and innovative science outreach, targeting a wide spectrum of audiences - from children, nurses and teachers to undergraduates."
Katharina will receive her award during EMBL Lab Day on Friday 14th June 2013, from 14:00-15:00 in the EMBL Advanced Training Centre, Klaus Tschira Auditorium. Gareth Griffiths, former EMBL Celll Biology and Biophysics Group Leader, now Associate Professor at the Institute of Molecular Biosciences at the University of Oslo, is delighted to act as master of ceremonies during the award ceremony, accompanied by Ari Helenius as presenter of the Award. Ari who was a former EMBL Cell Biology and Biophysics Staff Scientist is now Professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.