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Image of Photo of Lola mutant brain
Photo of Lola mutant brain

Professor Andrea Brand awarded the Royal Society Darwin Professorship

Congratulations to Professor Andrea Brand, who is one of six world class scientists awarded a Royal Society Research Professorship today. 

These prestigious posts usually run for up to 10 years and provide long-term support for internationally recognised scientists of exceptional accomplishments from a range of diverse areas including biochemistry, genetics, chemistry, developmental biology and physics. 

Professor Brand, Fellow and Herchel Smith Professor of Molecular Biology and Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator at the Gurdon Institute, received the Royal Society Darwin Professorship.

Professor Brand said:

“Cells in the brain arise from multipotent precursors called neural stem cells. In the adult brain neural stem cells only rarely produce new neurons, spending much of their time in a dormant, inactive, state. My aim is to be able to stimulate neural stem cells to generate new neurons at will, to replace those lost through injury or disease. Reactivating stem cells that are in the right place, at the right time, would be ideal.

“While it is important to understand how to stimulate stem cells to divide, it is equally important to know how to stop them dividing, as uncontrolled proliferation can lead to cancer. My lab is identifying the genes that keep stem cell proliferation in check and inhibit the formation of brain tumours. 

“I am honoured and delighted to have been awarded the Royal Society Darwin Professorship, which will allow me to focus my efforts on understanding the molecular basis for stem cell behaviour. The ability to control the proliferation of neural stem cells in situ raises the prospect of future therapies for brain repair after damage or neurodegenerative disease.”

Commenting on the appointments, John Skehel, Biological secretary and a Vice President of the Royal Society, said:

“The scientists awarded the 2016 Research Professorships are amongst the world’s most distinguished. All six have already made outstanding contributions to science and society and we hope that the professorships will support their current projects, as well as opening up new opportunities to enable them to continue their exceptional work.” 

See the full list of 2016 Royal Society Research Professorship appointments.


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