Early Career Researcher (ECR) Manuscript Competition

HUPO 2019 - ECR Manuscript Competition: “Proteomics Highlight of the Year”

The Early Career Researcher Initiative of the Human Proteome Organization is pleased to announce the fifth ECR Manuscript Competition to take place at HUPO 2019 in Adelaide, Australia!

The ECR Manuscript Competition was initiated at HUPO 2015 in Vancouver and has been successfully repeated at all following HUPO world congresses. The competition is a unique opportunity to make early-career researchers more visible to the proteomics community. It serves as a platform to highlight the important contributions that postdoctoral fellows, young clinicians and junior faculty members make to the proteomics field. 

HUPO is pleased to announce the winner of the 2019 Early Career Researcher (ECR) Competition. The announcement was made during the Awards Ceremony at HUPO 2019 in Adelaide, Australia where each finalist presented their work. Congratulations to all three finalists on their outstanding presentations!

Eneko Villanueva (Winner)

Dr. Eneko Villanueva studied Biology at the Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona, and later obtained a PhD in Biomedical Research at the University of Barcelona. He spent his PhD studying both the basic way in which viruses evolve to optimise their protein synthesis; as well as learning how to engineer them to constrain their protein synthesis to tumours and develop oncolytic viruses. This combination of basic and applied science resulted in several publications as well as a patent.

At his current position as a Welcome Trust Postdoctoral Fellow in the Cambridge Center for Proteomics in the University of Cambridge, Eneko is trying to follow the “Keep It Simple” paradigm to develop new technologies combining transcriptomics and proteomics to understand the crosstalk between the RNA and the protein worlds. Originally developed as a side project, he recently published OOPS (Orthogonal Organic Phase Separation) method has proved to be of great interest for the cell biology community. By allowing to study RNA-protein interactions in previously inaccessible systems, OOPS is currently used by collaborators in molecular biology, translational medicine and industry, and has also represented a starting point for his current research studying subcellular organisation at spatial and temporal level.

Maggie Lam

Dr. Maggie Lam is an assistant professor in Medicine/Cardiology and Biochemistry at the University of Colorado Denver, Anschutz Medical Campus. Her research develops quantitative proteomics and informatics methods to investigate the mechanisms of heart diseases including cardiac aging, fibrosis, and hypertrophy. In previous work she has published methods to assess the in vivo half-life of mammalian hearts at a proteome scale and developed targeted proteomics workflows to quantify mitochondrial protein phosphorylation events. An ongoing project in her lab aims to identify protein alternative isoform expression in the human heart using a combined transcriptomics and proteomics approach. In parallel, her lab actively works with HUPO to develop algorithms that predict gene-disease relationships and track the research trends of different B/D-HPP topics.

Ankit Sinha

Dr. Ankit Sinha received his Ph.D in cancer proteomics in December 2018 under the supervision of Dr. Thomas Kislinger at the University of Toronto. Dr. Sinha’s doctoral research focused on three key scientific themes with an application of proteomics. Firstly, omics–based technologies are ultra competent for studying longitudinal changes in biological systems1. Secondly, proteomics has the advantage of assaying secreted proteins in an accurate and unsupervised manner2. Lastly, the flow of information in the dogma of biology can differ as genomic clusters converge to different proteomic clusters3. Additionally, during his doctorate, he has contributed to over 20 scientific publications including five publications as the first author. He has received 13 awards throughout his graduate career and recently received the EMBO Long–Term fellowship for post–doctoral training.

To further pursue research training, Dr. Sinha is currently investigating how cancer cells modulate the tumour micro environment and this interdisciplinary research is being conducted with Dr. Felix Meissner (MPI Biochemistry, Munich) and Dr. Dieter Saur (DKFZ/TUM, Munich). The key focus of the investigation is to identify and functionally validate protein markers involved in the development of immune–tolerance of the cancer cells, and the relationship between identified molecular programmes and activated oncogenes. His future career inspiration is to lead a research group as a principal investigator in an academic setting. Dr. Sinha’s career vision is based on the postulation that integration of multi–omic analysis will provide a compendium of data which can provide more accurate biomarker and functionally accurate insights into the flow of biological information in cancer. Ultimately, the systematic integration of various dogma of biology will show that the whole is greater than the sum of its individual parts.

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