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New Programme Leader Appointed to Dundee MRC Unit

Published: Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Last Updated: Tuesday, March 02, 2010
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MRC Protein Phosphorylation Unit recruits Dr Ian Ganley from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

The Medical Research Council Protein Phosphorylation Unit at the University of Dundee has made a key scientific appointment with the recruitment of Dr Ian Ganley from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, USA.

Dr Ganley, who is currently working as a postdoctoral fellow at the USA’s premier institute for cancer research, will relocate to Dundee in August to take up his position as a Programme Leader.

He obtained a Master’s degree from the University of Oxford in 1997 and after working for one year at Oxford Glycosciences Ltd, moved to the University of Cambridge from from where he obtained his Ph.D. in 2002.

He then carried out postdoctoral research at Stanford University in California for five years before moving to New York in 2007.

Commenting on his appointment, Dr Ganley said, “The decision to join the MRC Protein Phosphorylation Unit was an easy one to make. The international reputation of the Unit is well deserved as not only are the facilities world-class, but the researchers are too. The Unit, and its position in the University of Dundee, creates a superb collegiate environment that fosters collaboration and scientific interactions, something that is very important to me as a scientist in the early stages of my career. This is a place where significant and valuable scientific discoveries are made and I am proud and eager to contribute to the great science being done here.”

Sir Philip Cohen, Director of the MRC Protein Phosphorylation Unit, said, “We are extremely fortunate to have recruited Ian.  He is working on a process called `autophagy’, in which damaged and unwanted components of living cells are broken down to their individual components and recycled for use elsewhere. Recent work has indicated that when this process goes wrong, it can cause cancer, heart and liver disease and degeneration of the brain. It may also be a cause of aging.

“Ian’s research is focused on how the process of ‘autophagy’ is regulated at the molecular level with the long-term aim of exploiting this information to develop novel drugs to treat disease.

“I am confident that Ian’s recruitment will create many opportunities for productive interactions with other research teams in the MRC Protein Phosphorylation Unit and College of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee. With Ian’s appointment the size of the MRC Protein Phosphorylation Unit will increase to nine Programme Leaders and 125 scientific and support staff.”

Dr Ganley’s wife, Dr Emma Hill is currently the Executive Editor of the Journal of Cell Biology, one of the world’s leading scientific journals. When she moves to Dundee, Emma will become the Adminstrative Head of the new Dundee Cancer Centre.

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