In order for a fertilized egg cell to turn into a complex organism composed of millions of cells, both flexibility and precision are equally necessary. On the one hand, tissues and organs must develop at the right time, at the right place, and be of the right size. On the other hand, errors must be corrected promptly. Dr. Jan Philipp Junker is studying the zebrafish to find out how this is possible. He leads the Quantitative Developmental Biology group at the Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology (BIMSB), which is part of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC).His team has developed a new technique that simultaneously determines the type and origin of all of an organism’s cells. The cell lineage trees should help researchers better understand how certain diseases emerge and how organs regenerate, with the heart being just one example.
Jan Philipp Junker is one of the young and emerging researchers supported by the European Research Council (ERC) through an ERC Starting Grant. He has now been selected to join the EMBO Young Investigator Programme.
EMBO Young Investigators are outstanding researchers under 40 years of age who have established their first laboratories in the past four years. They join a network of 129 current and 340 past Young Investigators. The European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) offers the researchers access to a range of benefits, including an award of €15,000 and networking and training opportunities. The main objectives of the organization are to support talented researchers at all stages of their careers, stimulate the exchange of scientific information, and help build a European research environment where scientists can achieve their best work.