The 2022 award-winner will receive the RMS Early Career Award, a £100 cash prize sponsored by the RMS Early Career Committee, and the opportunity to deliver a keynote presentation at Microscopy: Advances, Innovation, Impact 2022, where they will be presented with the award.
Any person undertaking work in the field of microscopy/flow cytometry and belonging to one of the following categories is eligible for this award*:
Applicants must be based within the UK/EU.
*entries from applicants outside the above criteria will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Early Career Committee.
Katherine, who began her PhD in 2018 at Chris MacDonald’s laboratory, was chosen in recognition of the novel approaches in imaging and cytometry she has brought to her studies on the regulation of cell surface membrane proteins.
Cell surface membrane proteins perform diverse and critical functions and are spatially and temporally regulated by membrane trafficking pathways. These trafficking pathways are evolutionary conserved from yeast to humans. MacDonald lab uses yeast as a model organism to study these pathways.
It became clear from Katherine’s initial studies that although standard confocal microscopy could be used to visualise some of the processes she was interested in, there were also limitations. She then helped optimise a suite of imaging and cytometry approaches to study surface proteins. This includes Airyscan2, structured illumination (SIM) and photoactivated localisation microscopy (PALM); all of which can be coupled to bespoke microfluidic exchange systems.
Katherine is also in the process of optimising a high throughput method to measure Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) in yeast using robotics and flow cytometry.
Kevin Whitley began his post-doc in 2017, sharing his time between the groups of Cees Dekker (at TU Delft, Netherlands) and Séamus Holden (Newcastle University, UK). The idea for his project was to combine the expertise of both groups (nanofabrication and microfluidics from Dekker lab, bacteriology and custom high-resolution microscopy from Holden lab) to study the dynamics of the essential bacterial division protein FtsZ.
His work incorporated both nanofabrication and microscopy elements, enabling the development of a method to image bacterial division proteins in high-resolution while perturbing them rapidly with antibiotics. This approach, and other methods, has enabled the discovered key roles of the essential cytoskeletal protein FtsZ in cell division and the dynamics underlying these roles.
He is currently based at Newcastle, continuing to investigate the dynamics of bacterial division at a molecular and cellular level using nanofabrication, microfluidics, and high-resolution microscopy. He is also continuing to develop methods for bacterial microscopy through instrument control and image analysis software.