University of Dundee

Excellence recognised with School awards

22 Jan 2018

Last week, at Review of the Year, Professor Julian Bow presented the annual School Prizes. The awards recognise excellence by members of the School in research and public engagement.

Dr Remi Sonneville, a postdoctoral researcher in the Labib lab, MRC PPU was awarded the Howard Elder Prize. This prize is awarded to a postgraduate student or postdoctoral researcher deemed to have published the most significant paper in an area related to cancer research. The panel congratulated Remi on his elegant study that uses fundamental molecular genetic approaches to dissect two partially redundant pathways, which could potentially be exploited to cause synthetic lethality in certain cancer types. The research is presented in the Nature Cell Biology manuscript: ‘CUL-2LRR-1 and UBXN-3 drive replisome disassembly during DNA replication termination and mitosis’.

Dr Thomas Carroll was awarded the Molecular and Cellular Biology Prize for research he conducted as a joint PhD student between the Nathke and Blow labs, CDB/GRE. This prize is awarded to a postgraduate student or postdoctoral researcher to recognise excellence in basic research. Thomas successfully used his experience from two rotation projects to propose and perform an exciting research project investigating the spatio-temporal dynamics of cell proliferation and the regulation of replication licensing in intestinal crypts. The work published in Journal of Cell Science and BioArchives.

The Brian Cox Prize for Excellence in Public Engagement with Research has two categories, Engaged Researcher of the Year and Project of the Year. Senga Robertson-Albertyn, a PhD student in the Bulgarelli lab in Plant Sciences, was named Engaged Researcher. The awarding committee stated that Senga is highly dedicated to her public engagement activities and shows a fantastic commitment to bringing science into the class room. Her involvement with schools, in particular in underprivileged areas, is especially important. Senga is an excellent ambassador for the School of Life Sciences. Taking part and winning the IASUK is fantastic and shows her commitment to engage students in a broad range of scientific topics. Developing the widely popular Microbe Motel (Perfect Poo) activity which was published in the Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education. 

Amy Learmonth, a PhD student in the Halpin lab in Plant Sciences, was highly commended in the Engaged Researcher category. The award committee notes that Amy is a very creative scientist who has translated her passion for science into fun games such as her ‘Jumping Genes’ game that are enjoyed by a large number of children and adults.

The Brian Cox Prize for Excellence in Public Engagement Research, Project of the Year was awarded to Dr Sarah McKim and the Division of Plant Sciences team who have organized and delivered quite a number of outreach activities. Their annual free Plant Power Day event in the University Botanic Gardens is held in partnership with them and the James Hutton Institute. The event reaches many people and creates interest in plant sciences, moreover it links in with international work in this area.

Each of the winners will have the opportunity to present a poster or talk on the work that contributed to winning the award at the School Annual Research Symposium in March. 

Image (clockwise from top left): Remi Sonneville, Senga Robertson-Albertyn, Thomas Carroll and Amy Learmonth.