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The Biochemical Society awards Birkbeck academic prestigious Colworth Medal

Dr Giulia Zanetti has won the 2021 Colworth Medal for her outstanding research in cell biology.

Dr Giulia Zanetti
Dr Giulia Zanetti

Dr Giulia Zanetti, a Research Fellow in Birkbeck’s Department of Biological Sciences, has been awarded The 2021 Colworth Medal by The Biochemical Society to recognise the contributions Dr Zanetti has made to membrane trafficking. 

The research Dr Zanetti is undertaking focuses on studies of eukaryotic membrane trafficking. In particular, she uses cutting edge structural biology techniques (cryo-tomography and subtomogram averaging) to obtain snapshots of Coat Protein Complex II (COPII) assembling on membranes. This allows to understand at the molecular level how the COPII assembly process is regulated, a fundamental aspect of cell biology. 

Dr Zanetti joined Birkbeck in April 2012 after working at the University of California, Berkeley, as a postdoctoral researcher, and completing a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at Oxford University. She is part of the Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology (ISMB) jointly with UCL. 

Dr Zanetti said: 

“It’s a great honour to receive this award. The award recognises curiosity-driven studies on fundamental aspects of cell and molecular biology and gives me the enthusiasm to continue along this path. The sharing ethos in our department has allowed my lab to progress and I’ve had fantastic mentors at Birkbeck who have supported me throughout my career at the College.”  

Donated in 1963 by Unilever Research Colworth Laboratory, the award is made to a biochemist of any nationality who is within 10 years of PhD completion and has carried out the majority of their work in the UK or Republic of Ireland. At a Biochemical Society conference in 2021, Dr Zanetti will present her most recent progress on her research project. 

This award builds on another of Dr Zanetti’s recent successes; in 2019, Dr Zanetti was selected as one of the 403 early career researchers to receive a European Research Council Starting Grant. 

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