17 July 2015
Professor Laura Machesky leads the Migration, Invasion and Metastasis research group at the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research in Glasgow, UK. The group aims to understand the control and mechanisms of actin assembly in various normal and cancer cells with the hope to understand fundamental aspects of cell movement.
Laura’s defining moment in science happened when looking down a microscope one Saturday afternoon in 1998. There she saw a cell phenotype that suggested what was to be the most exciting discovery of her career. A frenzy of work, together with her husband Robert Insall, followed – much of it done on the weekends and late into the night. Together they demonstrated that the WASP family proteins activated the Arp2/3 complex and thus were mediators of signalling to actin assembly for cell motility. Later that year she presented this work at the American Society for Cell Biology Meeting – the most important and exciting talk of her life.
She joined The Company of Biologists as she sees huge opportunities and challenges for scientific publishing. More scientists and more countries are opening up their science to the international community and the ways that people communicate and access scientific outputs are changing rapidly. She wants to help influence the future of non-profit journals in her field and to help The Company of Biologists to stay ahead of the game. She also wants to help scientists share the thrill of discovery.
“I wish for every scientist a discovery, big or small, that they can look back on and remember the excitement of that first glimmer of new truth coming to light. For me that is the point of being a scientist.”
Laura Machesky, FRSE, Director