On December 19, 2022, EMBO announced that Dr. Chen-Hui Chen and Dr. Chuan Ku of Academia Sinica were both selected as the 4th EMBO Global Investigators.

Dr. Chen-Hui Chen’s lab is interested in understanding the complex tissue regeneration that only occurs in some vertebrates. They focus efforts on key knowledge gaps that would be best addressed with the zebrafish model. The lab has a long-standing interest in developing multiplex cell tagging tools, live imaging platforms, and high-content quantitative analyses for capturing cell dynamism at multiple scales and in three-dimensional space. They hope that one day they can translate their findings to enhance the regenerative capacity of human tissues and organs.

About his selection as the EMBO Global Investigator, Dr. Chen said: “We are happy and feel honored about the award. It is not just a recognition for me but for the entire lab-every member of the Chen lab. At the same time, I am very thankful for the strong support that we received from the institution, collaborators, and ICOB colleagues. Because of them, we may stay calm and positive on the research road that always seems bumpy.”

Dr. Chuan Ku’s research team investigates the evolution, regulation ,and ecology of eukaryotic microbes of special environmental importance, including marine microalgae that account for nearly half of the global carbon fixation and giant viruses that infect diverse eukaryotic lineages. Currently, the team focuses on the evolutionary history of the calcifying microalgae coccolithophores and the regulation of their calcification and life cycling, as well as the origin, genome gigantism, and host diversification of giant viruses.

Dr. Ku said, “I very much appreciate the support and resources of Academia Sinica and the Institute of Plant and Microbial Biology. This honor goes to every lab member, both present and past, with whom I have been lucky to work as a team. It is exciting to know that EMBO recognizes our research on environmental eukaryotic microbes, which not only aims to resolve important biological questions, but to trace the history of microbes through their genomes so we may better understand the future of the Earth’s biosphere. With this incredible opportunity provided by EMBO, I look forward to strengthening ties between Taiwanese and European scientists and to increase the visibility of research in Taiwan.”

The Global Investigator Network program, launched in 2019, aims to support junior life scientists within their first six years of setting up their labs in India, Singapore, Chile and Taiwan to create a network of young group leaders and foster connections with the life science community in Europe. Each year, EMBO selects promising group leaders as Global Investigators who receive financial funding for networking, collaboration, and career-enhancing training activities.

EMBO is an organization of more than 1,900 leading researchers that promotes excellence in the life sciences in Europe and beyond. 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.

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Dr. Chen-Hui Chen of the Institute of Cellular and Organismic Biology and Dr. Chuan Ku of the Institute of Plant and Microbial Biology Selected as EMBO Global Investigators