Eileen Furlong honoured with Leibniz Prize

EMBL Senior Scientist receives prestigious German Research Foundation award for her work on dissecting gene regulation

Eileen Furlong, EMBL Senior Scientist and Head of the Genome Biology Unit, is one of the recipients of the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz-Preis 2022. Credit: EMBL

The German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) has named ten scientists as the recipients of the 2022 Förderpreis im Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz-Programm today. Among the researchers honoured for outstanding work in all scientific disciplines is EMBL Senior Scientist and Head of the Genome Biology Unit Eileen Furlong.

Dr Furlong is one of two Leibniz Prize 2022 recipients working in the life sciences. She will receive a prize of 2.5 million EUR, which she will be able to use for research in the field of functional genomics over the next seven years.

Following a PhD at University College Dublin, Ireland, Dr Furlong carried out postdoctoral research at Stanford University, California. She joined EMBL as Group Leader in 2002. She became a Senior Scientist in 2009 and has led the Genome Biology Unit at EMBL Heidelberg since then. Her research group focuses on dissecting general principles of how our genome is regulated, in particular, how developmental enhancers function, which has important implications for embryonic development, evolution and disease. Combining genomic, genetic, and computational approaches, she has been instrumental in developing and applying genomic approaches to understand how multicellular embryos develop.

“It is an immense honour to be selected for this prize. I am extremely grateful for the recognition of the work my group has done over the years, and it would not have been possible without the dedicated efforts of past and current lab members. It has been such a privilege and enjoyable journey doing science with all of them,” said Dr Furlong. She plans to use the awarded funds to further explore fundamental mechanisms of how regulatory elements function in the three-dimensional nucleus, and how they regulate robust developmental programmes.

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