A*STAR scientist wins European Molecular Biology Organization Young Investigator award

November 07, 2013

1. Dr Florent Ginhoux, Principal Investigator at the Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN), has been awarded the prestigious EMBO Young Investigator 2013 award. The European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) Young Investigator Programme (YIP) recognises young, promising researchers who are less than forty years of age and who have established their first laboratories in Europe and EMBO cooperation partner countries in the past four years.

2. Dr Ginhoux is one of only three scientists outside of Europe to receive the EMBO YIP award since its launch in year 2000. Of these three awardees, two are from Singapore and Dr Ginhoux is the second scientist in Singapore to be awarded . His excellence in the research won him the Best Paper Award at the 10th International Symposium on Dendritic Cells held in 2008. He also published several already well-cited papers in the prestigious Science and Immunity journals since he started his laboratory at SIgN in 2009. He was awarded the EMBO YIP as EMBO saw his accomplishments and potential to become a future life sciences leader.

3. Dr Ginhoux's current research focuses on understanding the origin and functions of dendritic cells (DCs), a specialised group of white blood cells which are responsible for triggering immune responses. His research forms the basis of a conceptual framework that can be translated into useful clinical applications since all immune responses against infectious agents are activated and regulated by DCs. Dr Ginhoux's study on DCs is highly significant in the design of clinical therapies, such as vaccines and immunotherapies for infections or auto-immune diseases.

4. Dr Ginhoux said, "This achievement would not have been possible without my dedicated team and the excellent scientific environment found in SIgN, as well as the research facilities in A*STAR. I'm truly honoured to be selected for the EMBO Young Investigator Programme and I would like to thank both A*STAR and my team for their support."

5. Prof Sir David Lane, A*STAR Chief Scientist and EMBO member said, "Only twelve per cent of the applicants were selected for the programme this year and we are pleased that Florent is one of them. Florent is a promising young scientist with great potential to be a scientific leader of the next generation. His passion in immunology has brought about important discoveries with potential clinical applications. We hope that this recognition will spur him on to make greater discoveries in his research."

6. Mr Lim Chuan Poh, A*STAR Chairman, said, "Florent is a fine example of the world class international talent that we are attracting to pursue their research careers in Singapore. A*STAR is very happy and proud that Florent's excellent work has been recognised by EMBO. A*STAR believes that his success will not only serve to inspire the younger scientists around him to similarly strive for excellence, but will also draw other promising international scientists to pursue their research careers in Singapore and with A*STAR. This is part of A*STAR's talent strategy of nurturing a strong Singaporean core to be complemented by a rich diversity of international scientists."

7. Dr Ginhoux will receive a financial award of 15,000 euros per year for his three years of membership. He will also receive extensive support from EMBO for networking opportunities. More details on the other 2013 EMBO YIP awardees, EMBO YIP and EMBO can be found in Annex A.
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Background on Dr Florent Ginhoux

8. A French national, Dr Ginhoux obtained his PhD in 2004 from the University Pierre and Marie Curie in Paris. He then joined the Laboratory of Miriam Merad in the Mount Sinai School of Medicine (MSSM), New York, where he began studying dendritic cells extensively. Dr Ginhoux joined SIgN as a Principal Investigator in 2009. He is concurrently an Adjunct Assistant Prof at National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU), and an Adjunct Assistant Prof at Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School.

EMBO YIP Winners in A*STAR

9. Dr Ginhoux is the second scientist in A*STAR to win the EMBO YIP. The first A*STAR awardee is Dr Bruno Reversade, Principal Investigator of the Institute of Medical Biology (IMB), who is also the first scientist outside of the European Union to receive the award. He was awarded the EMBO YIP in 2012. More details on Dr Bruno Reversade's EMBO YIP award can be found at http://www.a-star.edu.sg/Media/News/Press-Releases/ID/1740.aspx.

AGENCY FOR SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND RESEARCH (A*STAR)

Enclosed:

Annex A - Details on the 2013 EMBO Young Investigators, the EMBO Young Investigator Programme and EMBO

For media queries and clarifications, please contact:

Tan Yun Yun (Ms)
Senior Officer, Corporate Communications
Agency for Science, Technology and Research
Tel: (+65) 6826 6273
Email: tan_yun_yun@a-star.edu.sg

About the Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN)

The Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN), officially inaugurated on 15 January 2008, is a research consortium under the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)'s Biomedical Research Council. The mandate of SIgN is to advance human immunology research and participate in international efforts to combat major health problems. Since its launch, SIgN has grown rapidly and currently includes 250 scientists from 26 different countries around the world working under 28 renowned principal investigators. At SIgN, researchers investigate immunity during infection and various inflammatory conditions including cancer and are supported by cutting edge technological research platforms and core services.

Through this, SIgN aims to build a strong platform in basic human immunology research for better translation of research findings into clinical applications. SIgN also sets out to establish productive links with local and international institutions, and encourage the exchange of ideas and expertise between academic, industrial and clinical partners and thus contribute to a vibrant research environment in Singapore.

For more information about SIgN, please visit http://www.sign.a-star.edu.sg.

About the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)

The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) is Singapore's lead public sector agency that fosters world-class scientific research and talent to drive economic growth and transform Singapore into a vibrant knowledge-based and innovation driven economy. In line with its mission-oriented mandate, A*STAR spearheads research and development in fields that are essential to growing Singapore's manufacturing sector and catalysing new growth industries. A*STAR supports these economic clusters by providing intellectual, human and industrial capital to its partners in industry. A*STAR oversees 20 biomedical sciences and physical sciences and engineering research entities, located in Biopolis and Fusionopolis as well as their vicinity. These two R&D hubs, house a bustling and diverse community of local and international research scientists and engineers from A*STAR's research entities as well as a growing number of corporate laboratories. For more information about A*STAR, please visit http://www.a-star.edu.sg.

Annex A

EMBO Young Investigators 2013

Of all the applications received for the EMBO Young Investigator Programme 2013, 23 young researchers from twelve countries were selected. The success rate for selection to the highly competitive programme was twelve per cent in 2013. Scientists from Singapore can apply to EMBO programmes due to a cooperation agreement between both parties that started in 2011. For more information on the 2013 awardees, please visit http://www.embo.org/news/press-releases/press-releases-2013/23-researchers-join-network-of-embo-young-investigators.

About the EMBO Young Investigator Programme

The EMBO Young Investigator Programme (YIP) is the first initiative in Europe to address the needs of young independent research group leaders and is unique in its focus on effective networking activities, offering support and promoting exchange between the young scientists. Since its launch in 2000, the EMBO YIP selects independent scientists throughout the EMBC Member States, thereby creating a European network of outstanding life scientists. From the onset, this highly competitive programme has attracted applications from some of the best young group leaders in Europe. 315 scientists have been distinguished as EMBO Young Investigators since the launch of the programme in 2000. For more information on the programme, please visit http://www.embo.org/programmes/yip/programme.html.

About EMBO

EMBO is an organization of almost 1600 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.

EMBO helps young scientists to advance their research, promote their international reputations and ensure their mobility. Courses, workshops, conferences and scientific journals disseminate the latest research and offer training in techniques to maintain high standards of excellence in research practice. EMBO helps to shape science and research policy by seeking input and feedback from our community and by following closely the trends in science in Europe.

For more information on EMBO, please visit http://www.embo.org.

Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore

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