Werkte aan: Harvard Medical School, United States of America
Nieuwe thuishaven: KU Leuven
Titel project: A novel epigenetic modification in pluripotent stem cells.
Uit het juryrapport:
The applicant compiled a very strong, convincing and competitive application aimed to unravel the precise functions of Tet proteins in pluripotent stem cells and embryos of the mouse. This subject is very timely and very important: for decades the scientific community pursued the elusive ‘DNA demethylase’. Kian Peng Koh and colleagues showed that the long-sought enzymatic activity is in fact an hydroxylase, whereby cytosine is not demethylated but hydroxylated, thereby preventing the action of the maintenance DNA methylase Dnmt1; the net result is DNA demethylation, but the underlying mechanism is very different from the one everyone had expected. Now that novel epigenetic-based strategies to achieve reprogramming and stem cell differentiation protocols rank very high on the agenda of scientific institutions and funding agencies, the research proposal of Kian Peng Koh just comes at the right time.
The scientific bases and the experimental plan of the application are just waterproof.