Two Principal Investigators from The Wellcome Trust Centre for Gene Regulation and Expression, are recipients of awards which will bring in a revenue of over £2 million to the College of Life Sciences.

Dr. Eric Griffis received a Wellcome Trust Research Career Development Fellowships worth £700,000 and Dr. Anton Gartner was awarded a WellcomeTrust Senior Fellowship worth almost £1.43million.

The Fellowships provide funding for salaries, equipment, and consumables over five years. In addition to paying the salaries of the scientists, a further four postdoctoral members of staff, two technicians and one graduate research assistant will be recruited to the College of Life Sciences.

Professor Mike Ferguson, Dean of Research at the College of Life Sciences, said the Fellowships reflected the very high quality of research being carried out at Dundee. “These are extremely competitive fellowships from The Wellcome Trust and the awards speak volumes about the excellence of the individuals and the importance of their research,” he said.

“It also reflects the care with which we recruit to the College of Life Sciences, where we appoint the very best to maintain our high standard.”

Dr. Griffis’ fellowship will enable him to move to Dundee from the University of California, San Francisco to continue his studies on the regulation of the localisation and dynamics of non-muscle myosin II during cell division and cell migration.

Dr. Gartner will research DNA damage and repair – fundamental processes in biology with implications for understanding both health and disease.

Dr. Eric Griffis grew up near Atlanta, Georgia, USA and studied at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, and Emory University in Atlanta before moving to the University of California, San Francisco in 2004.

His graduate research focused on the dynamics of the nuclear pore complex (NPC) and how it may be regulated by events within the nucleus. He first made an informal visit to Dundee in 2006 and chose to move there in May 2009 despite counter–offers from other universities in the UK and US.

“I felt that Dundee offered the best combination of colleagues, facilities, and infrastructure,” he said, adding that he and his wife are very much looking forward to moving to Dundee this summer and starting their new lives in Scotland.

Dr. Anton Gartner came to Dundee in 2004 having received his PhD at the University of Vienna and carried out postdoctoral work at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York, before working as a group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Munich from April 2000 to July 2004. He said, “I was attracted by the very strong research base that exists in the UK in general as well as by the very interactive scientific environment, provided by the Dundee’s College of Life Sciences and the Wellcome Trust Centre of Gene Expression and Regulation. Also we felt that we would feel comfortable in Dundee, not only for its science but also for being a nice place to live.”