Crick scientist wins award for outstanding contribution to UK cell biology

10 November 2015

Congratulations to Thomas Surrey, a group leader at the Crick, who has been awarded the Hooke Medal by the British Society for Cell Biology (BSCB).

The Hooke Medal is awarded every year by the BSCB and recognises an emerging leader in cell biology.  The award is named after Robert Hooke, the eminent 17th century natural philosopher and author of Micrographia (the world's first comprehensive illustrated book on microscopy) and is given to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to UK Cell Biology.

The BSCB awarded Thomas the Hooke Medal in recognition of the important contributions he has made to our understanding of dynamic microtubule cytoskeleton function. The cytoskeleton is essential for the internal organisation of eukaryotic cells, which partition off different functions to various locations in the cell. This means cells can accomplish a wide range of functions within a small package.

Most recently, Thomas and his team have made major progress in understanding the molecular mechanisms of proteins binding to microtubule ends, thereby controlling microtubule dynamics and nucleation.

Richard Treisman, Research Director at the Crick said: "It is fitting that Thomas has been awarded the Hooke medal: as a 21st century biochemist, his outstanding contribution to our understanding of the structure and dynamics of microtubules has depended heavily on the creative use of advanced microscopy, an approach which would be dear to Hooke's heart." 

Thomas received his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Tübingen in Germany. He then spent 3 years at Princeton University, USA, as a postdoc, before he moved to the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany.

He started his lab at EMBL in 2002. In 2011 he moved his lab to the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute, which became part of the Crick in 2015.