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Rut Carballido-López, selected for the EMBO Young Investigator programme, joins the best in biology

Rut Carballido-López, a researcher at Micalis (Food Microbiology for Human Health Joint Research Unit) at the INRA Research Centre of Jouy-en-Josas, has been selected for the 2011 Young Investigator Programme (YIP) along with 21 other young researchers in Europe. The programme was created by the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), which promotes top-level excellence in life science research.

Rut Carballido-López. © INRA
Updated on 06/19/2017
Published on 12/13/2011

On 7 November 2011, the EMBO released the list of 22 independent researchers from its 27 member countries selected to participate in the Young Investigator Programme and join its European network of leading life scientists. The programme targets young scientists with promising careers who have set up a research team in the last 1 to 4 years. With a success rate of 13% this year, membership in this network reflects scientific excellence at the international level.

Rut Carballido-López underwent a challenging selection process based not only on the quality of the research projects conducted but also on the recognition of internationally published results and intellectual and financial independence. Ms Carballido-López’s work focuses on the shape of bacteria cells and looks at two major determining factors: the cell wall, a rigid, protective barrier essential to the survival of bacteria and a target of numerous antibiotics, and the skeleton of bacterial actin homologs (MreB). The research conducted by the “Cytoskeleton and bacterial cell wall biogenesis” team led by Ms Carballido-López is geared towards determining how cells acquire and maintain a particular shape. The team’s primary objective is to uncover the fundamental mechanisms of this essential – but as of yet poorly understood – aspect of cell development. To do so, researchers focus on a pole-shaped bacterial model, Bacillus subtilis, with a special emphasis on the proteins that play a major role in forming the bacterial cell wall and cytoskeleton. A key factor in the shape of bacteria, the cytoskeleton controls the formation of the bacterial cell wall and is also thought to play an important role in a number of other essential cellular mechanisms such as cell division, virulence and secretion. Rut and her team have adopted a largely multidisciplinary approach by working with a wide range of scientists, at the Jouy-en-Josas site but also from around Europe and the United States. In addition to her current endeavours and the high calibre of her scientific career, the EMBO jury was attracted by Rut’s ability to tackle big questions in the field of biology and by her passion for research.

Scientists selected for the EMBO YIP receive €15,000 per year for three years, funded by the member state in which their laboratory is located, along with appreciable assistance in career and network development. Winners and their teams are provided with funding to attend conferences, and practical training in laboratory management is also offered. Senior researchers act as mentors to Young Investigators, who are given access to core facilities at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL).

Scientific contact(s):

Associated Division(s):
Microbiology and the Food Chain
Associated Centre(s):