Professor James Whisstock
EMBL Australia Scientific Head
The last few weeks have been an exceptionally exciting time for our laboratory network. We hosted our first Scientific Summit, which was a huge amount of fun, and I think that a lot of great new collaborative interactions will grow out of the conversations we had during this meeting.
The beginning of October also saw the announcement of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson. Jacques Dubochet performed his pioneering work on cryo-EM whilst at EMBL, and it is wonderful that his contribution to cryo-EM and structural biology has been recognised in this way.
I’m extremely pleased that over the past 18 months our laboratory network has almost doubled, with new group leaders appointed - or being appointed - at Monash University, the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute and the Australian National University.
We have a large number of events filling the calendar in the final few months of year. We recently held our inaugural Scientific Summit and a Group Leader retreat. Later this month, leaders from across our laboratory network will congregate for our Strategic Summit and the annual EMBL Australia Postgraduate Symposium (EAPS) will be held in Sydney.
Lastly, we look forward to welcoming EMBL Director General Iain Mattaj to Australia in June next year.
Max Cryle wins fellowship to battle antimicrobial resistance
Congratulations to EMBL Australia Group Leader Associate Professor Max Cryle, who has been awarded a Career Development Fellowship from the National Health and Medical Research Council.
Associate Professor Mikaël Martino is an EMBL Australia Group Leader, based at the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute, Monash University.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: I am Swiss and French, but I mostly grew up in the French part of Switzerland where I did my all of my studies. After my PhD and a short postdoc in Switzerland (EPFL), I moved to Japan where I focussed on how the immune system controls tissue healing. I joined EMBL Australia in mid-2016.
What are your scientific interests?
Ultimately, I want to create new therapeutics for regenerative medicine and make regenerative medicine a wide-spread clinical reality.
What has been a highlight of your research career to date?
Discovering that the immune system is indeed a critical actor in the tissue repair and regeneration processes.
Which unresolved question would you most like to answer?
Why can't humans, as mammals, regenerate most of their tissues?
What are the best ways to reprogram our body towards real tissue regeneration, as opposed to scarring and tissue repair?
Name one tool you can’t do without.
Genetic and injury animal models, in particular, the mouse.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Focus on what really matters and try to find simple solutions to complicated problems. It is particularly important in the field of regenerative medicine.