Thermo Fisher presents $35,000 award to Judit Villen

Based on her MS-based analysis of protein phosphorylation in single cells

Judit Villen of the University of Washington, Seattle, US, has been presented with the American Society for Mass Spectrometry (ASMS) 2011 Research Award of US$35,000 by Thermo Fisher.

This annual award, which recognises and supports breakthrough academic research by young scientists in mass spectrometry, has been sponsored by Thermo Fisher Scientific for more than 20 years and is administered by American Society for Mass Spectrometry (ASMS.

Dr Judit Villen receives her award

An independent and anonymous ASMS committee selected Villen as the winner of the award based on her research on the MS-based analysis of protein phosphorylation in single cells. Her goal is to understand the complex cellular signalling networks that have an impact on the expression of cancers such as human breast cancer.

The early-stage research, which the award will support, focuses on the development of a novel interface for single-cell MS using a Thermo Scientific Orbitrap hybrid mass spectrometer.

‘Until now, MS studies measured proteins based on the average of millions of cells, completely missing the variations between individual cells that can have substantial consequences in signalling cell growth, proliferation and differentiation,’ said Ian Jardine, vice president of global r&d at Thermo Fisher Scientific.

‘Through her early-stage effort to develop an interface for single-cell mass spectrometry analysis, Dr Villen will launch an exciting new era of single-cell proteomics.’

Villen joined the University of Washington as an assistant professor in the Genome Sciences Department in June 2010. She also received the 2009 Howard Termin Pathway to Independence Award in Cancer Research from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Dr Villen was presented with the award during the 2011 ASMS conference.

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