The 2018 FEBS | EMBO Women in Science Award – worth 10,000 euros plus a bronze statuette – goes to University of Heidelberg researcher and AcademiaNet member Frauke Melchior. The jury thereby recognises Prof Melchior's academic work on a cellular process called sumoylation: Since discovering the protein small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) 20 years ago, Frauke Melchior has been instrumental in shaping and leading research on post-translational modification of proteins. She and her team have discovered a link between the 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 Prof Melchior’s generosity in guiding and mentoring young researchers and sharing protocols and reagents with the scientific community. During her career, she 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.
After being notified of her win, Prof Melchior noted: “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.”
The 2018 FEBS | EMBO Women in Science Award will be presented to Frauke Melchior on 9 July 2018 at this year’s FEBS Congress in Prague, Czech Republic, where she will present a plenary lecture.
(© AcademiaNet / EMBO)