Talented researcher awarded large grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation

At a ceremony in Copenhagen, Jaslyn Wong from the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics was awarded a 4-year postdoc grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation valued DKK 3,44 million for three years’ study in Cambridge and one year in Aarhus.

2018.05.24 | Lisbeth Heilesen

Jaslyn Wong. Photo: Novo Nordisk Foundation

Recipients of a grant for studies abroad. Photo: Novo Nordisk Foundation

Several of the members from the lab participated in the ceremony in Copenhagen. Photo: Terry Mun.

 

Jaslyn originally comes from Singapore, and she came to Aarhus University in 2011, where she obtained her PhD degree in 2017 in the Centre for Structural Biology. After her PhD studies, she joined the Plant Molecular Biology group where she got a two-year postdoc fellowship financed by Jens Stougaard. Jaslyn's research involved studying how symbiotic plant receptor kinases in Lotus japonicus specifically allow symbiotic bacteria to enter the interior of the plant without mounting full-scale defence responses against them. She was constantly curious about what constituted the active signalling complexes, how and what they looked like on membranes as well as how the different components interacted and regulated each other.

With the Novo Nordisk's research grant, Jaslyn will be able to satiate the curiosity that she has always had with kinase signalling. In November, Jaslyn will join Dr. Roger Williams' research group in the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge for three years, where she aims to elucidate the structure of mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) super complexes assembled on lipid membranes with cryo-electron tomography.

mTOR is a protein kinase that senses nutrient availability in a cell, and is a central regulation of cell metabolism, growth, proliferation and survival. Deregulated mTOR pathways have been associated with many pathological conditions, for examples type II diabetes and cancer, and inhibitors of mTOR are currently being used as immunosuppressive and anti-cancer drugs. Jaslyn is looking forward to learning the cryo-electron tomography technique at a state-of-the-art facility and is excited that her work may have significant medical implications.

At the end of 3 years in Cambridge, Jaslyn will return to Jens Stougaard and Kasper Røjkjær Andersen laboratory for 1 year, where she will continue working on mTOR and hopes that her newly acquired skills could help fellow colleagues working on receptor kinases and other membrane-bound proteins. 


For further information, please contact

Postdoc Jaslyn Wong
Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics
Aarhus University
jaslyn@mbg.au.dk

Research