Dr Sebastian Guettler, a Team Leader at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, has been recognised as one of the most promising young biomedical researchers in the UK and awarded a Lister Institute Research Prize Fellowship.
These awards are granted annually by the Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine, which aims to encourage future leaders in biomedicine, and give them the flexibility they need to set up and develop their research programmes.
Dr Guettler, from the ICR’s Divisions of Structural Biology and Cancer Biology, intends to use his prize to further develop his work on proteins that control cell function.
As a Lister Prize Fellow, Dr Guettler will also have access to the network of past and present award winners, which offers valuable opportunities for scientific collaboration and career support.
Video: Dr Guettler talks about our chromatography appeal.
Dr Guettler focuses on a group of proteins called PARPs – of great interest to cancer researchers because of their roles in DNA repair, signalling pathways in cells, and telomere maintenance.
The Lister Prize will allow Dr Guettler to broaden the scope of his work to study how telomeres, the ends of chromosomes, are protected and maintained – a process involving a PARP enzyme called Tankyrase.
Studying the molecular basis of how telomeres are regulated will help increase our understanding of the way cancers such as leukaemia, glioma and melanoma develop.
In August last year, the team published a study in Molecular Cell that revealed a new role of the Tankyrase protein in signalling pathways that are important to the growth of most bowel cancers.
Dr Guettler said: “I am delighted to have been awarded the Lister Institute Research Prize, which will enable me to expand my lab’s activities to do some very exciting new work on telomere protection and maintenance.
“The award is exciting news, not only for me, but also and first of all for my entire team, who have been working very hard over the past years and without whom I wouldn't have earned this recognition.”
Help us stay at the cutting edge
A key part of Dr Guettler’s work is to isolate and purify proteins using a set of methods called chromatography. These methods are necessary to study the structure of proteins in detail and investigate their roles in cancer growth and spread.
Dr Guettler needs to purchase a new liquid chromatography machine to stay at the cutting edge of research into the structural biology of cancer, and the ICR is raising funds for this key piece of equipment.
Support our Structural Biology appeal