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BBSRC congratulates Society of Experimental Biology President's Medallists 2012

3 July 2012

BBSRC would like to congratulate the recipients of the 2012 Society of Experimental Biology President's Medals.

The SEB President's Medals are awarded annually to young scientists of outstanding merit. The awards are presented at the Annual Main Meeting of the Society - which took place this year in Salzburg, Austria from the 29 June - 2 July.

One medal is awarded for each of the Society's four sections - Animal, Cell, Plant, and Education and Public Affairs. Three of this year's four President's medallists have been supported by BBSRC. They are:

Dr Ive de Smet, The University of Nottingham - Cell Section

Dr Ive de Smet, The University of Nottingham - Cell Section Dr De Smet is a BBSRC David Phi David Phillips fellow. He carried out his doctoral work on the control of lateral root development in Arabidopsis with Tom Beeckman at the VIB Department of Plant Systems Biology, Ghent University, Belgium. Then he did his postdoctoral studies on asymmetric cell division of the Arabidopsis zygote with Gerd Jürgens at the Centre for Plant Molecular Biology, University of Tübingen, Germany, and the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Tübingen. Currently, his newly established research group at The University of Nottingham is funded by BBSRC to research ligand-receptor kinase interactions in root development.

Anne Osterrieder, Oxford Brookes University - Education and Public Affairs Section

Anne started her undergraduate studies in Biology at the Ludwig-Maximilian-University Munich and then switched to the Technical University Munich to join their Genetics programme. After moving to the UK and completing a PhD she was funded by BBSRC to do postdoctoral research on characterizing tethering factors at the Golgi-endoplasmic reticulum interface at Oxford Brooks University. Over the last year she has been working on the morphology of transgenic Golgi plants and on establishing an optical trapping system in collaboration with the Central Laser Facility (Science and Technology Facilities Council).

During her PhD Anne became involved with outreach by demonstrating microscopes to schools, in "Science and Art" workshops for students and teachers and to children in the first "Brookes Science Bazaar" in 2009. In the following years she organized the group's microscopy activities for the Bazaar and, at the same time, started to produce science music videos and share them on YouTube. Anne also blogs about plants, cells and science and is using social media websites such as Twitter and Google+ to share and discover scientific content. Anne has now taken over the role of "Faculty Outreach Coordinator" for a day per week alongside her research, which she enjoys immensely.

Heather Whitney, Bristol University - Plant Section

Heather did her first degree at Imperial College London, following which she moved to the IACR-Long Ashton Research Station, University of Bristol to conduct a BBSRC-funded PhD studentship under the supervision of Professors Johnathan Napier and John Pickett. From Bristol, Heather moved to the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge, where she was employed as a post-doctoral researcher investigating the production of pantothenate (vitamin B5) in plants. Heather stayed in Cambridge to undertake an interdisciplinary post-doctoral position looking at how the petal surface structure influences the behaviour of insect pollinators with Dr Beverley Glover and Professor Lars Chittka, which gave her the opportunity to both use plant molecular biology and learn animal behavioural methods . A six month Medical Research Council 'discipline-hopping' fellowship in to the lab of Professor Ullrich Steiner (Department of Physics, University of Cambridge), gave Heather further opportunities to collaboratively develop biomimetic and optical methods for analysing how the plant surface reflects light. Heather returned to Bristol in 2008 when she was awarded a Lloyd's of London Tercentenary Trust fellowship, and is currently funded by a European Research Council (ERC) starting grant to investigate the production of iridescence in plants.


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