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24Jan 2019

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PhD student Claire Hoencamp receives competitive fellowship

PhD Student Claire Hoencamp has been awarded a 2-year PhD Fellowship by the Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds for her research at the Netherlands Cancer Institute. This highly competitive fellowship supports outstanding junior scientists in basic biomedical research at an internationally leading laboratory. After strict selection out of 183 applicants from all over the world, fewer than 10 per cent of the applicants were granted a fellowship. Apart from a monthly stipend, fellowship holders are offered personal support and participation in special seminars and trainings.

Folding DNA

Claire Hoencamp will perform her project in the research group of Benjamin Rowland. She investigates a protein complex named condensin. "During each cell division the DNA is folded into compact structures that allow for their accurate distribution over the daughter cells", she explains. "This folding process is largely dependent on the condensin complex: a protein complex with a molecular motor."

Molecular gas pedal

Hoencamp: "Our lab recently discovered that this motor has an unexpected asymmetry: you can pinpoint a molecular gas pedal and a brake. The reason why condensin has gas and brake pedals is unknown. A likely scenario would be that the speed of condensin has to be tightly controlled. In this project I will investigate for which processes condensin needs to exert its function really quickly, and also for which processes it needs to act slowly. By answering these questions I hope to gain more insight in the functions of this condensin complex, and also into how the folding of DNA inside the cell is regulated."


"I'm really proud that I have been awarded this fellowship", she adds. This is not the first time a PhD student in Benjamin Rowland's group has been awarded this PhD fellowship; 1,5 years ago Marjon van Ruiten was also awarded this prestigious fellowship.

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