AIMMS researcher Merel Damen wins Pfizer Life Sciences graduation prize

Merel Damen won the prize for her research internship on the Tat protein transport system.

12/04/2018 | 2:19 PM

The prestigious Pfizer Life Sciences graduation prize (5 kE) award was handed out at a ceremony on November 26th at the Hodshon house in Haarlem by Louise Gunning-Schepers, chair of the Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities (KHMW) to Merel Damen. The Young Talent Award acknowledges the best report on a research internship in the Life Sciences in 2018.The research internship was conducted in the group of Ben Berks at the University of Oxford as part of her MSc programme Biomolecular Sciences. AIMMS researcher Joen Luirink was Merel Damen's VU supervisor. This placement was funded by the Erasmus scheme and Merel was actively involved in writing the funding application.

Merel Damen’s project concerned protein secretion by the Tat protein transport system. The Tat system is one of the two protein export pathways in the bacterial cytoplasmic membrane and is essential for many cellular processes, including formation of the cell and envelope, energy metabolism, and pathogenesis. Merel Damen currently studies another bacterial transport system relevant for pathogenesis of Mycobacteria in the group of Edith Houben (AIMMS, Dept. Molecular Microbiology) as a PhD student.

Photo has been taken by photographer Hilde de Wolf.