Reader in Biology & Biochemistry, Dr Vasanta Subramanian, has been elected Fellow of the Society of Biology for her achievements in progressing stem cell research to better understand certain developmental processes and neurological disorders.

Dr Subramanian’s research uses stem cells identify the role of sets of genes which bind DNA in the regulation and development of the skeletal and nervous system. This research is funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC).

Her current research topics include the role of the proteins that cause Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis – also known as Motor Neurone Disease - and a project looking at the development of fronto-temporal dementia, one of the forms of dementia which affects under 65s. Dr Subramanian uses the cutting edge new technology of induced pluripotent stem cells to understand the disease mechanisms.

Dr Vasanta Subramanian completed her undergraduate studies in India and obtained her PhD in Biochemistry from the Indian Institute of Science. Her interest in embryonic stem cells and developmental Biology started as a visiting student in the Hubrecht Laboratory, Utrecht, Netherlands and this led on to postdoctoral work in Developmental Biology at the ICRF’s Developmental Biology Unit in Oxford and the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry Gottingen, Germany. Dr Subramanian joined the University of Bath in 1991 and became a Reader in 2009.

Commenting on the award, she said: “I am really very pleased that I have been recognised for my research achievements and elected as Fellow of the Society of Biology. It is an honour not only for me but also for my research group and my collaborators.”

The Society of Biology is the leading professional body for biologists in the UK, representing over 12,500 life scientists from all areas of the life sciences, as well as over 90 organisations, which make up the diverse landscape of biology. Its key objectives are to advise government and influence policy, advance biology education and engage and encourage public interest in the life sciences.

Members include practising scientists, students, professionals in academia, industry and education, and non-professionals with an interest in biology. The people invited to become Fellows are those who have excelled in their area of biology, and who have made a prominent contribution to the biosciences.

Other academics to have recently been elected Fellows at the Society from the same department include Professor David Brown , Professor Ravi Acharya and Dr Jean van den Elsen.