Hamann lab Sommerfest with friends and families on a sunny afternoon in Brennebukta.




Summer term is finally over, so time to give a brief update on recent/future events.

  • Dr. Lauri Vaahtera has begun working in the group in June and is busy starting his research project funded by the Säätiöiden pooli’s foundation.      Welcome! 🙂
  • Camila Øvstebø has been awarded an “all expenses paid” travel fellowship to attend the Sao Paulo School of Advanced Science on Mass Spectrometry-based Proteomics (SPSAS-MS) from the 28th of August until the 6th of September 2017. Congratulations! 🙂
  • The Hamann and Somerville (UC-Berkeley) labs have been awarded jointly a Peder Sæther grant, which will enable Nora Gigli-Bisceglia to work for a couple of months in California. She will investigate how a small molecule can function as signal, activating defence responses in Arabidopsis thaliana.
  • We are happy to welcome a new MSc student (Kristine Marie Svanø) to the lab. 🙂
  • Nora Gigli-Bisceglia has been invited to give a short presentation about her work at the SPPS meeting in Turku in August.
  • Recently two manuscripts with contributions from the group have been published in the Journal of Experimental Botany and PLOS Genetics.                                        Dirigent proteins in plants: modulating cell wall metabolism during abiotic and biotic stress exposure.  JExBot                                                                                                        The Arabidopsis leucine-rich repeat receptor kinase MIK2/LRR-KISS connects cell wall integrity sensing, root growth and response to abiotic and biotic stress. PLOS Genetics



Lab exkursion to the NBS annual conference in Storefjell.

Interesting talks by Emanuelle Charpentier, Sophien Kamoun, Ralph Bock and social activities involving a “stylish” nightclub and some outdoor photography…. 🙂





Postdoctoral fellowship awarded to Dr. Lauri Vaahtera

Dr. Lauri Vaahtera has been awarded a Postdoctoral fellowship from the Säätiöiden post doc pooli’s foundations of Finland to join the Hamann lab in spring 2017 to perform a GWAS-based analysis of the plant cell wall integrity maintenance mechanism. Read her his recent publication in PLOS Biology on the function of MPK12 in Arabidopsis thaliana.


Prof. Ottoline Leyser has been awarded an honorary PhD with the Norwegian University of Natural Sciences and Technology on the 18th of November.


Here is the text from NTNU summarising her past achievements:

Prof. Ottoline Leyser; FRS; CBE; Director, Sainsbury Laboratory University of Cambridge

Dr. Leyser´s academic career began with a degree in genetics followed by a PhD, both from Cambridge University. Her thesis project focused on understanding the mode of action of the shoot meristem, the plant organ, which gives rise to all aerial structures in plants on planet Earth. After her PhD she continued her research career at Purdue University (Indiana) in the group of Mark Estelle. During her time at Purdue she identified a gene required for the perception of the phytohormone auxin. This gene represents a key element of the molecular processes regulating plant development and movement, which has already fascinated Charles Darwin more than 100 years ago. Therefore it is not surprising that her findings were published in Nature and have formed the Rosetta stone enabling plant scientists to successfully dissect the molecular mechanism mediating auxin perception and response in plants. In 1994 Dr. Leyser set up her own research group at the University of York and has made since then seminal contributions to the field of plant development focusing on the interplay between auxin and other plant growth regulators enabling plants to successfully adapt to changing environments. More recently these activities have been elevated to a different level because she moved back to Cambridge and became the director of the newly established Sainsbury Laboratory Cambridge University funded by the Gatsby foundation. This institute brings together 120 scientists from different scientific areas in a new, purpose-built facility located in the Cambridge botanical garden opened by her majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2011. The overall aim is to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying plant development and apply the resulting knowledge in order to make a difference in the real world.

The leading research Dr. Leyser has performed throughout her scientific career is not only indicated by the large number of publications she has co-authored but also by the academic honors she has received. Examples include her being an elected Fellow of both the Royal Society and the European molecular biology organization since 2007, having become an elected foreign associate member of the National Academy of Sciences USA in 2012 as well as having been invited to join the Leopoldina in 2014. More importantly throughout her career she has actively contributed to the development of global plant science community by participating in committees, outreach activities and mentorship programs. Examples are her roles as chair of the British Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) skills and careers strategy panel (2009-2012), her membership in ERC consolidator or advanced grant panels for cellular and developmental biology (2012-16), international advisory boards of the Gregor Mendel Institute (Vienna) and the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology (Tübingen) as well as the Wallenberg Genomics Consortium assessment panel.

In parallel to these strategic activities Dr. Leyser was constantly contributing to outreach activities and public policy development. Examples include Open lectures at the University of York and the Cambridge Science Festival, interviews with BBC world service and the Today program, expert witness to the House of Commons Select Committee on genetically modified organisms as well as the Royal Society Fraud and the Future of Publishing. More importantly she has been actively promoting science education and research training as means for diverse career paths, which is exemplified by the more than 40 PhD students and postdoctoral scientists she has mentored during her career. In parallel she has provided guidance on career development for female scientists and advised institutions on gender equality.

As a result of her active involvement in the development of the scientific community, policy and her contributions to society at large, she was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire by her majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2009.