CSSB Postdoc, Catalin Bunduc, receives Van Leeuwenhoek Award
On April 5, Catalin Bunduc was granted the Van Leeuwenhoek Award which is given to young, Postdocs in microbiology for the best publication as first author. Catalin received the award for his paper Structure and dynamics of a mycobacterial type VII secretion system published in the renowned scientific journal Nature. The award was bestowed by the Dutch Society of Medical Microbiology (NVMM) and the Royal Dutch Society of Microbiology (KNVM) at their annual Scientific Spring Meeting.
The award’s seventeenth century namesake, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek is often considered to be the father of microbiology. “Van Leeuwenhoek was the first one to build a microscope and examine microbes,” explains Catalin’s group leader Thomas Marlovits “now with a state-of-the-art electron cryo-microscope Catalin was able to observe the molecules responsible for the onset of tuberculosis in atomic detail.”
Catalin and collaborating researchers revealed the structure of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis type VII secretion, which is an intricate nanomachine used by the pathogen to transport various molecules across its cellular envelope. “Unravelling these systems enables the identification of potential weak spots in the mycobacterial fortress and can aid in the development of better therapeutics,” explains Catalin. “I am honored to have received this award and for this exciting research which will hopefully have an impact on the fight against tuberculosis, in the future.”