Professor Noel Lowndes of NUI Galway's Department of Biochemistry has become a member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO). He is just one of three Irish-based scientists elected to the prestigious organisation which includes 36 Nobel Prize laureates among its members.
Professor Lowndes, who has established an international reputation in cellular responses to DNA damage, leads Ireland s first Genome Stability Cluster at NUI Galway. His research team is studying how normal cells respond when the genetic material is damaged and how defects in these responses result in cancer. DNA damage is caused by diverse agents ranging from sunlight and cigarette smoke to ionising radiation from either natural sources or from nuclear power plants.
Responding to the news of his appointment to EMBO, Professor Lowndes said, "This is a great honour for me personally but is also recognition of the recently established Genome Stability Cluster at NUI Galway. This cluster, a team of four distinct laboratories working on related aspects of the biological responses to DNA damage, is unique in Ireland and has exciting potential for our understanding of the underlying causes of cancer."
Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway said the University was proud of the depth and strength of research being carried out across all disciplines. "The election of Professor Lowndes to EMBO is an endorsement of his ground-breaking research and its potential to alleviate suffering caused by cancer. He and his team of international scientists bring a wealth of experience and expertise to their work," he said.
Professor Frank Gannon, Executive Director, EMBO said, "Election to EMBO is based on the votes of the EMBO members. It is an honour that is much sought after and the inclusion of Noel Lowndes in this elite group sends a very positive message about his research reputation and the growing recognition of the quality of science in Galway and Ireland."
EMBO, established by leading scientists in 1964, promotes biosciences in Europe. The organization raised the standards in this area of science through the establishment of a specialist laboratory (EMBL), the provision of training through practical courses and workshops and by stimulating mobility through its Fellowship Programme. Today EMBO has 1200 elected members in 24 countries.