EMBO, the international European Molecular Biology Organization in Heidelberg, Germany, has bestowed prof.dr. Dolf Weijers of Wageningen University & Research the lifetime honour of EMBO Membership in recognition of his remarkable achievements in the life sciences. As a plant biochemist Dolf Weijers is chairholder at the Biochemistry group.
The 63 newly elected Members and Associate Members of EMBO reside in 25 countries and join the community of the EMBO Membership. The new Members boast a large range of accomplishments, with candidates elected based on scientific excellence and pioneering research.
“The new Members have contributed to the success of research in the life sciences in Europe and around the world,” says EMBO Director Maria Leptin. “As EMBO Members they can help to shape the future through EMBO’s work to support talented researchers, bring ideas together, and promote an international research environment conducive to excellent science.”
Plant growth research
Dolf Weijers performed very well in research into the development and growth of plants from the embryonic stage. For example, his team discovered a simple mechanism for control of plant growth through the auxin plant hormone. Last year he had a major breakthrough when he and his group discovered a new set of proteins that ‘tell’ the cell what the poles of the compass are and found them to have the same basis as in animals. Dolf Weijers is the only Dutch new EMBO 2020 member.
A great privilege to setting the course of biology
“It is a wonderful honour to be elected as new member to the organisation that has played such an important role in driving the broader field of molecular biology forward,” Prof. Dolf Weijers says upon hearing about his prestigious membership. “With its members, EMBO sets the course of biology, and it is a great privilege to be in a position to contribute to this. Through its fellowship programme, EMBO has supported me when I was a post-doc, and also a number of fellows in my laboratory over the years. As a member, I hope to return this support and contribute to excellence in the life sciences.”
EMBO Members actively participate in EMBO initiatives, for example by serving on EMBO Council and committees, by mentoring young scientists, or supporting activities such as the promotion of sound science policy. Members also guide and support the organisation in ensuring the highest quality in the selection of future members, postdoctoral fellows, and courses and workshops.
EMBO’s tradition of recognising outstanding life scientists as Members dates back to 1963, when an initial group of 150 Members were selected by EMBO’s Council. Since then, EMBO Members have been invited to nominate and elect exceptional researchers to join the community, which now exceeds 1,800 Members and Associate Members. Elections for EMBO Members are held annually. The new EMBO Members join a growing list of renowned researchers elected before them, which includes 88 Nobel laureates.