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EMBO Gold Medal 2011 awarded to Simon Boulton
Date:4/20/2011

Heidelberg, Germany, 20 April 2011 - The European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) today announced Simon Boulton of Cancer Research UK's London Research Institute, Clare Hall Laboratories as the winner of the 2011 EMBO Gold Medal. Awarded annually, the EMBO Gold Medal recognizes the outstanding contributions of young researchers in the molecular life sciences.

Boulton receives the award in recognition of his groundbreaking research on DNA repair mechanisms. The election committee was particularly impressed by his pioneering role in establishing the nematode worm, C. elegans, as a model system to study genome instability.

"I am delighted and honoured to receive such a prestigious award," said Boulton upon hearing the news.

Throughout his career, 38-year-old Boulton and his research team have exploited the experimental strengths of several complementary systems, including C. elegans and mouse genetics, proteomics in mammalian cells and in vitro biochemistry. Some of their most important discoveries have come from contrasting the results obtained in different systems and cellular contexts. Boulton's PhD supervisor Stephen P. Jackson described him as an "absolutely outstanding scientist" and praised his unique combination of approaches that allowed him to make seminal contributions to the field encompassing DNA repair, genome instability and cancer.

Simon Boulton's research highlights include:

  • Discovering the gene RTEL1 as an anti-recombinase that impacts on genome stability and cancer and counteracts toxic recombination, which is also required in meiosis to execute non-crossover repair.

  • Discovering the PBZ motif and establishing that ALC1 (Amplified in Liver Cancer 1) is a poly(ADP-ribose)-activated chromatin-remodelling enzyme required for DNA repair. Poly (ADP-ribosyl)ation (PAR) is a post-translational modification of proteins that play an important role in mediating protein in
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Contact: Suzanne Beveridge
communications@embo.org
49-622-189-1108
European Molecular Biology Organization
Source:Eurekalert

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