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12.12.17 And the 2018 Women in Cell Biology Early Career Medal goes to...Meritxell Huch

last modified Dec 12, 2017 01:42 PM
Awarded by the British Society for Cell Biology, the annual Women in Cell Biology Medal honours the most promising early career female researchers, to serve as inspiring role models for the next generation
12.12.17 And the 2018 Women in Cell Biology Early Career Medal goes to...Meritxell Huch

An organoid of liver hepatocytes in vitro.

Women in Cell Biology Early Career Medal Winner 2018: Meritxell Huch

Dr Meritxell Huch is a Group Leader at the Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge. After obtaining her PhD degree in Gene Therapy and Pancreatic Cancer at the Center for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona, Spain, she moved to the Netherlands to join the laboratory of Professor Hans Clevers at the Hubrecht Institute for Developmental Biology and Stem Cell Research in Utrecht, the Netherlands, in order to redirect the focus of her research into Adult Stem Cell Biology. In the first stage of her postdoctoral research, she isolated, for the first time, the stem cells responsible for the rapid turnover of the adult stomach and proved that these adult stomach stem cells can be maintained and expanded in culture, forming “mini-stomachs” structures in vitro.

She then moved her research to the understanding of the role and replicative potential of liver progenitors during liver regeneration. She found that liver progenitors can 

be unlimitedly expanded in vitro and can be used as a source of liver tissue for future cell therapy interventions for liver diseases. As senior postdoctoral researcher in the Clevers lab, she described that adult pancreas progenitors can be expanded long-term in vitro, an accomplishment never achieved before in the pancreas field.

In 2014 Meritxell established her independent lab at the Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge, where she works on elucidating the replicative potential of adult stem cells during tissue regeneration and disease.

The medal will be awarded at a medal lecture during the BSCB main spring meeting: The Dynamic Cell III in Manchester, 18th to 21st March 2018.

The WICB Early Career Medal was established in 2015 to mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of the BSCB. It is an annual honour awarded to an outstanding female cell biologist who has started her own research group in the UK within the last seven years.

 

Reproduced from the British Society of Cell Biology website.

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Read more about the research in Meri Huch's lab. 

Watch Meri describe her research on video.

 

Studying development to understand disease

The Gurdon Institute is funded by Wellcome and Cancer Research UK to study the biology of development, and how normal growth and maintenance go wrong in cancer and other diseases.

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