Cell 'glue' research awarded

5 Sep 2013

A University of Queensland scientist has been awarded the prestigious Australia and New Zealand Society for Cell and Developmental Biology President’s Medal.

Professor Alpha Yap from UQ's Institute for Molecular Bioscience was recognised for his contributions to cell biology.

Australia and New Zealand Society for Cell and Developmental Biology President Professor Peter Currie said the President’s Medal was the society's highest honour.

“Alpha is Head of the Molecular Cell Biology Division at IMB, which is arguably the country’s most acclaimed cell biology hub," Professor Currie said.

“Alpha has made seminal contributions to understanding the molecular pathways involved in coordinating cell adhesion, with specific emphasis on cadherin-mediated adhesion.”

Cell adhesion is the process by which cells bind together to form structures such as organs, and cadherin is an important protein in gluing tissue cells together.

These connections are broken in many diseases, such as cancer and inflammation.

Professor Yap’s research gives important insights into how signalling between cells can go awry and disrupt the adhesion process, leading to diseases such as cancer.

Professor Yap will receive the medal at the ComBio2013 conference in Perth this month, where he will deliver a plenary lecture.

He holds a Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery and a PhD from The University of Queensland.

Donate to Professor Yap’s cancer research at www.imb.uq.edu/donate or call (07) 3346 2132.

The Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) is a research institute of The University of Queensland that aims to improve quality of life by advancing personalised medicine, drug discovery and biotechnology.

Media contact:

Bronwyn Adams, IMB Communications Officer – 0418 575 247, 07 3346 2134 or b.adams@imb.uq.edu.au