This week, one of four SEB President’s Medals will be handed to AcademiaNet member Dr Caroline Gutjahr. The SEB President’s Medals are awarded annually to young scientists of outstanding distinction.
Nominees to a President’s Medal are among the best in their respective fields: they are strong researchers or scientists in the early stage of their career. They may be leading their own group, are well respected by their peers and regarded as a creative and novel thinker. All those attributes apply to Dr Gutjahr. Only last year, she took home a substantial ERC Starting Grant for her project ‘Regulatory networks of plant cell rearrangement during symbiont accommodation’ (RECEIVE) and was appointed Tenure Track Professor at the Technical University of Munich.
Her research is very much interdisciplinary: Caroline Gutjahr looks into the biology and function of arbuscular mycorrhiza, a symbiosis between plants and beneficial soil fungi, which augments plant nutrition with mineral nutrients. Using a combination of molecular biology, genetics, cell biology and biochemistry she aims at understanding plant molecular mechanisms, causing changes in plant cells that allow arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi to colonise these cells. Moreover, she investigates how molecular mechanisms interconnect plant and symbiosis development, and how this may allow plants to orchestrate arbuscular mycorrhiza symbiosis with their physiological needs under changing environmental conditions.
This year’s medals will be presented in Florence on the occasion of the SEB annual meeting.
(© AcademiaNet / SEB)