Recent awards for Lister Fellow Dr Yanlan Mao

We are very pleased to report that Lister Fellow Dr Yanlan Mao has recently been given two highly prestigious biology awards for early career researchers: the Women in Cell Biology (WICB) Early Career Medal 2020 and the Early Career Award in Mechanobiology by the Biophysical Society.

Dr Yanlan Mao is an expert in developmental biophysics based at the Medical Research Council’s (MRC) Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology (LMCB).

Her research interests primarily cover how tissues reach their correct shape, size and 3D architecture. Her team looks at both normal development and regenerative growth using an interdisciplinary approach that combines live imaging, engineering and computational modelling, automated image analysis, experimental biophysics and Drosophila genetics.A major challenge in modern tissue mechanics is understanding how more complex structures form from simpler building blocks. Some aspects of how the physical and mechanical properties of cells and tissues contribute to organ formation are unclear.

Dr Mao’s team are working to improve our understanding of the external and internal forces acting on the 3D architecture of a cellular structure and how these relate to tissue growth, regeneration, gene expression and signalling pathways.

This innovative research work has been recognised in Dr Mao’s two recent awards that have given her greater recognition in the field.

Each year, the Women in Cell Biology (WICB) Early Career Medal is given to an outstanding female scientist based in the UK who has started her own research group in the last 7 years. It was established 5 years ago to mark the 50th anniversary of the British Society for Cell Biology (BSCB) who administer the award.

You can find out more about the WICB Early Career Medal and Dr Mao’s research that led to her achievement here.

Dr Mao was also given the Early Career Award in Mechanobiology by the Biophysical Society (BPS). This award is given to a young Principal Investigator who has made outstanding contributions to the way in which we understand how mechanics shape certain molecular and cellular processes.

Dr Mao was invited to present her work at the Mechanobiology Subgroup Symposium during the BPS Annual Meeting.

The Biophysical Society was founded in the 1950s in order to contribute to the development of a robust and dynamic biophysics field all over the world. Consisting of over 9,000 members, the Society represents stakeholders from academia, industry and government agencies worldwide.

We are delighted to hear about Dr Mao’s recent achievements and very pleased to have played a role in supporting her high-quality research programme with one of our prestigious research prizes.

In addition to the Lister Institute the Mao Lab has secured funding from a variety of organisations including the Medical Research Council, the Wellcome Trust, the European Commission (under the Horizon 2020 framework), and L’Oreal UNESCO.

You can find out more about Dr Mao’s research and career in her profile on the Lister website and on the website of the Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology (LMCB).