Scientist recognised by prestigious membership award

A University of Liverpool scientist has been elected to the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) in recognition of his work into cell processes.

Professor Francis Barr, from the University’s School of Cancer Studies, will join more than 1000 of the world’s most prominent scientists as a member of EMBO – an organisation that recognises research excellence in the area of molecular life sciences.

Professor Barr, lead scientist of the newly established Liverpool Cancer Research UK Centre and the North West Cancer Research Chair of Molecular Oncology, studies the processes of mitosis and cytokinesis in cell growth and division.  Mitosis occurs when a cell separates chromosomes in its cell nucleus into identical sets in two nuclei, a process followed by cytokinesis, which divides the nuclei into two cells containing equal components. 

Professor Barr said: “Human cells increase their numbers by cell growth and division, but when this system goes wrong it can trigger the development of cancer.  The aim of my research is to understand how mitosis and cytokinesis works so that new targets for tumour diagnosis and cancer treatments can be identified. 

“The election to EMBO is a great honour and recognises the significant developments that the Liverpool team have made in understanding cell behaviour.”

John Lewys-Lloyd, Chairman of NWCRF, said:  “We are very proud to fund Professor Barr as the Chair of Molecular Oncology.  From the start he quickly brought in further funding to build his cancer research team at the University of Liverpool.  His election to EMBO gives added recognition to the standing of cancer research in Liverpool.”
Dr David Scott, director of science funding at Cancer Research UK, said: “Membership of this distinguished scientific organisation recognises innovative research and hard work, which is helping us to better understand more about the causes of cancer.”

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