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PhD researcher to meet Nobel scientists

PhD researcher to meet Nobel scientists

Nobel laureates from across the scientific spectrum and around the world will be sharing their expertise and insight with a University of Leeds researcher later this year.

Dan Hurdiss, a microbiologist working in the University’s Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology, has just been invited to take part in this year’s Nobel Laureate Meeting in Lindau, Germany. He was selected from thousands of applicants after impressing organisers with his application and commitment to his subject area.

The annual Lindau Meetings usually bring together about 30 laureates from across Biology, Physics and Chemistry with just 600 young researchers selected from around the world.

This year however, there are due to be more than 40 laureates sharing their ideas and expertise, making it one of the most important years in the 68 year history of the event.

Dan, who was named Sir Howard Dalton Young Microbiologist of the Year by the Microbiology Society in 2017, said: “To say I’m thrilled is an understatement; the Lindau Meeting is an incredible opportunity to hear the best ideas and new approaches from scientists who have achieved the highest accolade possible in their fields.

The Lindau Meeting is an incredible opportunity to hear the best ideas and new approaches from scientists who have achieved the highest accolade possible in their fields.

Dan Hurdiss

"It’s also a great chance to meet researchers at the same stage in their careers as me, and I hope this will help me build the network of international contacts necessary for a career in modern science.

"I’m really looking forward to the visit – it will be busy and challenging, but the new ways of thinking and carrying out research I’m hoping to learn will be a real boost for my future career."

The six-day programme which Dan will take part in will feature question and answer sessions, meaning researchers – who will all be under 35 – can talk about science with some of the most eminent researchers in the world. Masterclasses and poster sessions will also give the attendees a chance to present their research to the Nobel prize winners, again offering up the possibility of working together in the future.

Among the Nobel laureates Dan can expect to meet are biochemist Professor Joachim Frank, who won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his development of cryo-electron microscopy, the subject in which Dan has specialised in his research work. Professor Frank has already tweeted Dan to say he is looking forward to meeting him in Lindau.

Professor Neil Ranson, Director of the Astbury Biostructure Laboratory’s cryo-EM facility, who has overseen Dan’s research work and supported his application, said: "The University is incredibly pleased for Dan. This is an unparalleled opportunity to learn and expand his horizons, by meeting eminent researchers from across the sciences.

"He will have chance to hear from and debate with people at the pinnacle of their fields. Bringing together the best ideas and techniques from biologists, physicists and chemists will be key to tackling the world’s problems in the next few years, and I’m delighted Dan can immerse himself in the Lindau Meeting, it will set him up for the next phase of his career. I’m very excited to see what he achieves in the coming years."

The Lindau Meeting takes place this year from 24-29 June.

The Astbury Biostructure Laboratory is based in the University’s Faculty of Biological Sciences and is one of the world’s leading centres for structural biology research, looking at life in molecular detail.

It houses £16million of cutting edge research tools including two cryo-electron microscopes and nuclear magnetic resonance equipment. These systems allow scientists to study the behaviour of molecules and proteins in different ways and with exceptional levels of detail, contributing towards the drive to create new drugs to improve people’s quality of life.

Further information

Journalists with questions or interview requests should contact Peter Le Riche in the University of Leeds press office on 0113 343 2049 or email p.leriche@leeds.ac.uk.

Dan Hurdiss is pictured with Professor Neil Ranson at the Cryo-electron microscopy lab on the University campus.

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