Tasmanian Devil researcher wins 2012 Eppendorf award

THE 2012 winner of the Eppendorf Award for Young European Investigators has been announced: Dr Elizabeth Murchison of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge, takes the prize for her work with Tasmanian Devils.

Tasmanian Devils have been plagued by a cancer, investigation of which led Elizabeth Murchison to win the 2012 Eppendorf Award (pic: Neil Moreton)

Murchison’s work in Tasmania has focused on a deadly cancer that has spread through the population of wild Tasmanian Devils, and which threatens the survival of the species. She found that the cancers are all derived from the same clone, leading to the conclusion that cancer cells are physically transferred between animals.

Her ground-breaking results present opportunities for new approaches to the understanding of clonal cancers, and have been instrumental in developing strategies to save the Tasmanian Devil from extinction.

The Eppendorf Young Investigator Award was established in 1995 to recognise outstanding work in biomedical research by European scientists up to 35 years of age, and is awarded in partnership with the journal Nature. Elizabeth Murchison will receive her presentation next month at the EMBL Advanced Training Centre in Heidelberg, Germany.

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