Newswise — Maya Schuldiner of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel has won the prestigious EMBO Gold Medal for 2017.  At a ceremony on December 4 at the 2017 ASCB|EMBO meeting in Philadelphia, Schuldiner will receive the medal and present her research at the EMBO Gold Metal Lecture.

The EMBO Gold Medal is awarded annually and recognizes outstanding contributions to the life sciences in Europe by young independent group leaders. It carries with it a cash award of 10,000 euros (~ 11,252 USD).  The prize recognizes Schuldiner’s significant contributions to the understanding of protein synthesis, trafficking, and quality control.

Schuldiner has been a member of the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) since 2003. Using yeast as her model organism, Schuldiner studies the interaction of cell organelles and how certain proteins within organelles are targeted to specific destinations to facilitate cell functions.

Schuldiner earned her PhD in developmental biology at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel, with Nissim Benvenisty. For her postdoctoral research, she switched to the field of cell biology and worked with Jonathan Weissman at the University of California, San Francisco. In 2008, she returned to Israel to establish her own laboratory at the Weizmann Institute of Sciences in Rehovot.

Of the EMBO Gold Medal, EMBO Director and fellow ASCB member Maria Leptin said, “Young independent group leaders are essential for a strong research ecosystem. They identify important unanswered questions, explore new experimental approaches, and act as mentors for the next generation of scientists. The EMBO Gold Medal highlights some of the remarkable achievements through which this group of scientists drives our understanding of biology.”

ASCB is an inclusive, international community of biologists studying the cell, the fundamental unit of life. We are dedicated to advancing scientific discovery, advocating sound research policies, improving education, promoting professional development, and increasing diversity in the scientific workforce. ASCB has 8,500 members and members in 57 countries around the world.

EMBO is an organization of more than 1,700 leading researchers that promotes excellence in the life sciences. The major goals of the organization are to support talented researchers at all stages of their careers, stimulate the exchange of scientific information, and help build a European research environment where scientists can achieve their best work.