Annette Granéli, Assistant Professor at the Department of physics at the University of Gothenburg. Her challenge is to understand how a particular protein that plays a key role in DNA repair also affects the emergence of cancer. NOTE – This article is machine translated from Swedish.
Annette Granélis challenge is to understand how a particular key protein in the DNA repair process affects the onset of cancer. She has chosen to work interdisciplinary science with new physical techniques.
Every day, the human cells DNA damage that the body can repair itself. A key protein in this repair process is called Row 51 who among other things has a direct link to a breast cancer gene. Annette Granéli has focused on studying how the repair process in detail. When a cell has become a cancer cell, it can be a single DNA repair that has gone wrong.
— I want to understand the molecular mechanisms behind this and has developed a method for studying the individual proteins and interaction with DNA.
It is hoped that a better understanding at the molecular level ultimately leads to solve medical problems.
— But it is of course extremely far in the future, she says, and bursts into a warm laugh.
At the same time as she and colleagues maps this develops the new methods to be able to get even further down in the details.
— To resemble Rad51 protein at a school bus. It is the individual events when the bus stops to drop off or on a child who is interesting, not any other time when the bus is in motion. It is precisely the knowledge I want to access. It is exciting to follow a protein at this level and try to understand the processes.
Annette Granéli is both a physicist and chemist. For some years she works as Assistant Professor at the Department of physics at the University of Gothenburg. She received a doctorate in materials science and engineering at Chalmers University of technology, but thought it was missing something.
— I am not contented with just developing methods, but wanted to use them as well. Therefore, I chose to ask me with a leg in each camp and work in the space. There is a large, untapped potential in the area where we mix knowledge from surface physics, material science, biochemistry and biotechnology.
Who’s got Annette to take the decisive step to focus on single biomolecules was the experience that post-doctor in New York.
— When I was taught how to combine biochemistry with the kind of practices I a PhD on. It was very inspiring and it made me return to biochemistry.
Many biochemists sometimes hesitate to embark on Physics area, especially when you need a whole battery of analytical techniques for their studies. In the United States, you are much better at working interdisciplinary compared to how it is in Sweden, she says.
Annette Granéli confesses that she embarked in a very complex field of research. But do not see the slightest bit concerned about out.
— Of course it takes a long time. I am therefore extremely grateful to Lundberg Foundation gives me this opportunity. It will pay dividends. We will succeed.
For the grant from the foundation she buys a fluorescence microscope is sensitive enough to be able to identify the movements and see how it interacts with DNA.
Annette Granéli also put down a large commitment in research policy issues and is elected as vice President of the Swedish Youth Academy. It is something that really gets her.
— It is bad shape equality within the scientific community, still just 23 percent of the country’s professors are women, despite the fact that for 30 years has been more girls than boys due to training. There must be a change.
Text and photo: Monica Havström