Manuela Baccarini Elected EMBO Member

The European Molecular Biology Organisation welcomes new members

23. 5. 2012 | Manuela Baccarini is Professor of Cell Signaling at the Center for Molecular Biology at the Max F. Perutz Laboratories at Vienna University. The Baccarini group focuses on signal transduction cascades, especially on the MAPK pathway (Mitogen-activated protein kinase).
When an extracellular signaling molecule activates a cell surface receptor, signal transduction occurs and in turn triggers an intracellular reaction. The MAPK pathway is a chain of proteins in the cell that communicates a signal from a receptor to the DNA in its nucleus. Often the signal causes an effect, for instance cell division. Defects in this complex signaling process are responsible for various forms of cancer.

Recently, the group has performed the conditional and conventional knockout of the Raf kinases and of their effectors Mek. The knockout studies have defined essential in vivo roles of these proteins, several of which are unexpectedly independent of their enzymatic activity, and have changed the way we look at the pathway. The laboratory continues to focus on deciphering signaling pathways in vivo by conditional gene ablation in mice.

Manuela Baccarini is coordinator of the International PhD Program "Molecular Mechanisms of Cell Signaling" that she founded in 2009, and she is also Deputy Director at the Center for Molecular Biology at the Max F. Perutz Laboratories, where her research group is situated. Before coming to Vienna, she had been a group leader at the Fraunhofer Institute in Hannover, Germany.

The European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) was founded in 1964 and currently has 1.500 members, all leading researchers in life sciences. Its members provide scientific input by joining advisory editorial boards of the four scientific journals of the organization, serving on selection committees for EMBO Programmes and giving general advice to the scientific community. The EMBO is located in Heidelberg.

In May 2012, the EMBO welcomed 55 new members, 48 are from European and neighbouring countries, while seven scientists from Argentina, Australia, South Korea and the United States join as Associate Members. 13 new members are female scientists. The selected researchers will help shape the direction of the life sciences in Europe and beyond by their involvement with the activities of the organization.   (© Vienna University / EMBO)

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