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May 20, 2015

EMBO Membership for Mihaela Zavolan and Dirk Bumann

Prof. Mihaela Zavolan and Prof. Dirk Bumann from the Biozentrum of the University of Basel have been elected as new members of the prestigious European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO). This makes a total of twelve professors currently at the Biozentrum, and twenty seven since the founding of the Biozentrum who have received this honor.

New EMBO members: Prof. Mihaela Zavolan and Prof. Dirk Bumann

The European research network EMBO was founded in 1964 with the goal of promoting biological sciences in Europe. Each year, EMBO elects new members on the basis of their outstanding scientific achievements. The 58 new members elected this year come from 19 different countries, 5 from Switzerland, bringing the total number of current EMBO members to 1700.  “EMBO Members influence the future direction of science and help to strengthen research communities by encouraging interactions between countries,” EMBO Director Maria Leptin remarked. “We welcome these exceptional scientists to EMBO and look forward to their input.”

EMBO Member – Mihaela Zavolan

Mihaela Zavolan was appointed Professor of Computational and Systems Biology at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel and a group leader at the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics (SIB) in 2003. Together with her research group she studies so called microRNAs (miRNAs), which regulate the expression of protein-coding genes and thus control many processes including cell differentiation, metabolism and immune responses. Mihaela Zavolan studied medicine at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Timișoara, Romania, and graduated with a PhD in Computer Science at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, USA. Afterwards Zavolan worked at the Santa Fe Institute, at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, as well as at the Rockefeller University in New York. Since 2013 2009 Mihaela Zavolan is a member of the Executive Board of the initiative in systems biology in Switzerland. She also heads the research project StoNets and is part of the TargetInfectX project. In 2014 she has been appointed as a member of the Academia Europaea.

EMBO Member – Dirk Bumann

Since 2007, Dirk Bumann has been Professor for Infection Biology at the Biozentrum. His research focuses on host-pathogen interactions, particularly the metabolic processes and single-cell properties of the important human pathogens Salmonella, Shigella, and Pseudomonas. Using systems biology approaches he investigates the entire metabolic network of these pathogens to better understand the relevance of metabolic enzymes for bacterial virulence. In addition, he studies how disease and therapy depend on pathogen subpopulations that co-exist in tissues. Last year Dirk and his team demonstrated that slowly growing bacteria are the biggest challenge for treatment of Salmonella infections. Dirk Bumann studied chemistry and biology at Berlin and received his PhD at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried. He worked as a postdoc at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, USA. In 1997, Dirk Bumann started as a group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin and then moved to the Hannover Medical School in 2004.

Contact: Communications, Heike Sacher