We are pleased to announce that two new professorial posts have been filled at the Sainsbury Laboratory. The professorships were created as part of the Sainsbury Laboratory’s ongoing drive to recruit world class research leaders to the laboratory. Professor Yrjo Helariutta will join the laboratory from the University of Helsinki in Finland. His group studies vascular development in roots, essential to allow efficient transport of water and nutrients between the root and the shoot. Professor Helariutta’s work focuses on how the normal pattern of phloem and xylem elements is established in the root vascular cylinder. He has recently developed new tools to allow the investigation of the role of communication between cells in the developing vasculature via cell-cell connections called plasmodesmata. Several members of his research team will also transfer to the Sainsbury Laboratory, where they will continue to pursue work on root vascular patterning.
Henrik Jönsson, formerly a Group Leader at the Sainsbury Laboratory, takes up the other professorship. Having until now split his time between the Sainsbury Laboratory and Lund University in Sweden, he will take up a full time professorship in Cambridge. His background is in theoretical physics, and his group focuses on using computational modelling to improve understanding of the dynamic processes that take place as a plant grows and develops. For example, he has built models to test the hypothesis that the formation of new leaves at the shoot tip is driven by an interplay between mobile hormonal signals and the physical forces they generate in the walls of growing plant cells.
Further information on both professors can be found on their individual and group pages. The Sainsbury Laboratory continues to recruit researchers and support staff. Current vacancies can be found on the jobs page.