The 2018 FEBS/EMBO Women in Science Award and Lecture

Congratulations to Frauke Melchior, winner of the 2018 FEBS/EMBO Women in Science Award! Prof. Melchior will be presented with the award and deliver a Plenary Lecture at the 43rd FEBS Congress.

EMBO and FEBS have just announced Frauke Melchior from the Center for Molecular Biology (ZMBH) at Heidelberg University, Germany, as the recipient of the 2018 FEBS/EMBO Women in Science Award. 

The FEBS/EMBO Women in Science Award recognizes outstanding achievements of female researchers in the life sciences. In addition, winners of the award are role models who inspire future generations of scientists. 

Melchior receives the award for discovering a link between the small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO), oxidative stress and DNA damage, which has important implications for the development of chemotherapeutic approaches in cancer treatment. In addition, the award also recognizes Melchior’s generosity in guiding and mentoring young researchers and sharing protocols and reagents with the scientific community.

Frauke Melchior says about receiving the award: “It is a wonderful honour and great motivation to receive this award. I particularly value the combined recognition for my scientific discoveries and my work in mentoring and supporting younger scientists. At this stage of my career it tells me that I have been doing something right in trying to combine these different aspects into my work as a scientist.”  

Since discovering SUMO 20 years ago, Melchior has been instrumental in shaping and leading research on post-translational modification of proteins with SUMO. 

Anne Dejean of the Institut Pasteur in Paris, France, a research colleague in the SUMO field, says: “Frauke Melchior is an exceptional scientist. She discovered SUMOylation and promoted the SUMO field through key findings, seminal reviews, methods development, dissemination of protocols and reagents, as well as teaching and mentoring the next generation of scientists.” 

“She is internationally highly recognized for her thorough analysis and innovative studies in the SUMO field as well as for her generous way of sharing scientific knowledge, ideas, protocols and tools,” adds Ivan Dikic, Director of the Institute of Biochemistry II at the Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany, who has worked with Melchior on several occasions.

During her career, Frauke Melchior has supervised more than 40 postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers in her lab. She has also worked with 10 mentees through schemes like the EMBO Young Investigator Programme, the Mentoring Program for International Female Scholars of the University of Cologne and the junior group leader program of the Cluster CellNetworks in Heidelberg. 

The 2018 FEBS/EMBO Women in Science Award will be presented to Frauke Melchior at the 43rd FEBS Congress where she will present a plenary lecture on 'The ins and outs of SUMOylation' on Monday July 9, 2018.

To read more about the career and research of Frauke Melchior, see the biosketch on the Plenary Speakers page. 

About the FEBS/EMBO Women in Science Award

The Women in Science Award is a joint initiative of FEBS and EMBO. It recognizes and highlights major contributions by female scientists working in Europe to life sciences research in the past five years. The award includes a prize of 10,000 euros, a bronze statuette and the opportunity to give a plenary lecture at the FEBS Congress.

Nominations for the 2019 FEBS/EMBO Women in Science Award close on 1 October 2018. For more information see www.embo.org/funding-awards/women-in-science-award or www.febs.org/our-activities/awards/febs-embo-women-in-science-award

Photo credit: Sabine Arndt

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