Dr. Elvan Böke recognised by EMBO and Fundación Banco Sabadell

By July 4, 2024CRG

Known for her research on female fertility and oocyte biology, BIST Community member Dr. Elvan Böke at the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) has recently been honoured with two prestigious awards: the EMBO Gold Medal 2024 and the 19th Prize for Biomedical Research from the Fundación Banco Sabadell.

Elvan Böke, alongside Josep Oliu, President of Banco Sabadell, and Manuel Delgado, another awardee. Credit: Fundación Banco Sabadell

On the 25th of June 2024, the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) awarded the EMBO Gold Medal to Dr. Böke for her outstanding contributions to life sciences in Europe. This prestigious award, which recognises researchers under 40, includes a gold medal and a bursary of 10,000 euros.

Dr. Böke, a Group Leader at the CRG, has made advances in understanding how oocytes, or immature egg cells, maintain pristine conditions over many decades in order to give rise to the next generation. The new accolades celebrate her significant contributions to the life sciences and highlight the impact of her work on understanding oocyte health and ageing.

Elvan Böke’s work has yielded groundbreaking insights into a key mechanism used by oocytes to reduce free radical damage,” said Anthony Hyman, EMBO Member and Director at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden, Germany. “She has built a unique research direction in the few years of her independence as a researcher.”

Marie-Hélène Verlhac, EMBO Member and Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Biology (CIRB), Paris, added, “Elvan Böke has a very original approach to an extensively studied model system, the mammalian oocytes, and she has brought a fresh eye, asking novel and important biological questions.”

In addition to the EMBO Gold Medal, Dr. Böke has also been awarded the 19th Prize for Biomedical Research by the Fundación Banco Sabadell. This prize acknowledges her significant discoveries regarding oocyte aging and their potential impact on fertility and reproduction.

The prize, which also highlights the work of young researchers, was presented by Josep Oliu, President of both Banco Sabadell and its Foundation. “These prizes are a testament to the exceptional work of our scientists and provide them with the visibility they deserve,” he said.

Receiving both prizes highlights the critical importance of Dr. Böke’s research on female fertility. “More than 25% of female fertility problems are unexplained, indicating a significant gap in our understanding of female reproduction. Our group strives to help fill that gap through our research,” she said.

She adds that, “Our work being recognised is profoundly validating and encourages us to continue our pursuit of knowledge in this field. It signifies that our work is not only advancing scientific understanding but also has the potential to impact our society.”

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