Researcher wins Biochemical Society award

Dr Araxi Urrutia, Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellow in the Department of Biology & Biochemistry, has received an Early Career Research Award from the Biochemical Society for her work on evolutionary genetics.

Dr Urrutia, who was awarded a L’Oreal UK Women in Science Fellowship in 2007, presented her award lecture on the evolution of gene order as part of the Darwin lecture series held in the Department of Biology & Biochemistry on Friday 15 May.

The award, comprising a medal and an honorarium of £1000, recognises international quality research by early career scientists who have completed their PhD in the last five years.Medal

Dr Urrutia uses computer methods to analyse DNA sequences and understand the processes that have shaped the genome through time. Her research has found that gene order in the genome is not random as was previously thought but instead genes are sorted according to their levels of activity.

She said: “I’m delighted to be receiving this award and hope that it might, even in a small way, inspire other young female scientists.

“I would like to thank Dr David Tosh for nominating me for the award, and Professor Brian Charlesworth and Professor Laurence Hurst for supporting it.

“My special thanks go to Laurence for his support during the last 10 years.”

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