Public Release:  Petra Beli joins IMB, obtains Emmy Noether award to study cellular response to DNA damage

EUR 1.5 million award from the German Research Foundation to establish a research group in Mainz

Johannes Gutenberg Universitaet Mainz

Dr. Petra Beli has been granted a prestigious EUR 1.5 million Emmy Noether Program award from the German Research Foundation (DFG) to establish a research group at the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) at Mainz University. Here she will investigate how cells respond to DNA damage and maintain genome stability. These processes are vital to prevent premature ageing and diseases such as cancer.

The human genome is constantly damaged by exposure to environmental factors such as sunlight and various chemicals. As a failure to repair this damage can lead to a range of diseases, cells have a number of molecular mechanisms in place to repair damaged DNA. Dr. Petra Beli has been granted a prestigious Emmy Noether Program award from the German Research Foundation (DFG) to study the cellular response to DNA damage. She will employ quantitative mass spectrometry-based proteomics to investigate how histones and other chromatin-associated proteins are modified by ubiquitin during the process of DNA repair.

Before joining the Institute of Molecular Biology in Mainz, Dr. Beli worked in the group of Prof. Chunaram Choudhary at the Novo Nordisk Foundation's Center for Protein Research in Copenhagen, Denmark. Here she developed novel mass spectrometric methods that gave important insights into the scope and dynamics of protein phosphorylation and ubiquitylation during DNA damage signaling.

The Emmy Noether Program supports outstanding young researchers, who have worked abroad, in establishing independent research groups at an early stage in their scientific career. The highly prestigious award will support Dr. Beli's research activities for the next five years.

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The Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH (IMB)

The Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH (IMB) is a new center of excellence in the life sciences which was established in March 2011. Research at IMB concentrates on three cutting-edge areas: epigenetics, developmental biology, and DNA repair. The institute is a prime example of a successful collaboration between public authorities and a private foundation. The Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation has dedicated EUR 100 million for a period of ten years to cover the operating costs for research at IMB, while the German federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate provided approximately EUR 50 million for the construction of a state-of-the-art building.

For more information about IMB please visit: http://www.imb-mainz.de

The Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation

The Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization committed to the promotion of the medical, biological, chemical, and pharmaceutical sciences. It was established in 1977 by Hubertus Liebrecht (1931-1991), a member of the shareholder family of the company Boehringer Ingelheim. With the "PLUS 3" Perspectives Program and the Exploration Grants, the foundation supports independent group leaders, it endows the internationally renowned Heinrich Wieland Prize as well as awards for up-and-coming scientists. In addition, the foundation has endowed EUR 100 million over a period of ten years to finance the scientific running of the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz.

For more information about the foundation and its programs, please visit: http://www.boehringer-ingelheim-stiftung.de

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