Category: Front Page, Research

Date: Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Dr. Minhajuddin Sirajuddin, Assistant Investigator at the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine (inStem) has been awarded the prestigious European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) Young Investigator Programme (YIP) award for the year 2016. He is the first scientist from India to receive this award.

India's recent entry into the EMBO community has paved the way for young researchers like Dr. Sirajuddin to apply for such prestigious research awards.The rapidly growing research community in India now has access to a combination of excellent facilities and collaborative opportunities.

Through several schemes, EMBO supports talented researchers in the field of life sciences at all stages of their career to enable excellent science. The EMBO Young Investigator programme (YIP) is a highly competitive scheme that aims to facilitate development of early career researchers into world-class researchers, primarily via networking opportunities. EMBO Young Investigators are encouraged to interact with each other, group leaders and the growing network of former Young Investigators. They also benefit from both financial and practical support, including mentorship by EMBO members and access to core facilities at EMBL, Europe's flagship laboratory for basic research in Molecular Biology.

Dr. Sirajuddin joined the Centre for Cardiovascular Biology and Disease at inStem in October 2014. He has been working on understanding the structure and function of cytoskeletal assemblies, which form the basic framework for maintaining cell integrity and power biological movements. This has larger implications, since mutations in these cytoskeletal components have been linked to a variety of human diseases including cardiomyopathies and muscular dystrophies. He proposes to study actin and microtubule cytoskeletons, to identify and characterize proteins that function in the organization and stability of these structures. This is expected to have implications in various disease conditions. Dr. Sirajuddin’s research has the potential to bridge the knowledge gap between human mutations from clinical studies and molecular mechanisms affecting biological processes.

Support via the EMBO Young Investigator Program will further Dr. Sirajuddin’s collaborations with colleagues in the EMBO member states, which will be crucial to achieve the goals of his program. “The EMBO YIP network brings together some of the best young minds in science across Europe and associated member countries. It will be a great opportunity to interact, exchange and learn new ideas from the current and former YIPs. The programme also allows us to take advantage by facilitating to travel to meetings, collaboration with other labs and access EMBL facilities. It is particularly attractive as my lab members also can avail many of these benefits.” said Dr Sirajuddin sharing his views about the EMBO award.

Prof Apurva Sarin, the Dean of inStem spoke about the award and said “We are delighted that the first EMBO-YIP awarded to India is hosted at inStem. This is recognition of the possibilities that Minhaj's research brings to the CCBD  and the Shanta Wadhwani Centre for Cardiac and Neural Research, generously supported by the Wadhwani Foundation at inStem.”

About EMBO:
EMBO is an organization of 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 research environment where scientists can achieve their best work. For more information:

About India-EMBO partnership:
The Government of India and the European Molecular Biology Conference (EMBC) and the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO), recently signed an agreement inducting India as a member state of the EMBC and EMBO. The agreement will have far-reaching implications for Indian science through the strengthening of links between the Indian and European life-sciences research communities. For more details, please visit

Funding support:
Dr. Sirajuddin’s research program is supported by an Intermediate Research Fellowship from the Wellcome Trust-DBT India Alliance and intramural support via inStem and the Shanta Wadhwani Centre for Cardiac and Neural Research