Joost Gribnau is the recipient of the 2015 Descartes-Huygens Prize. He has been awarded the prize for his outstanding research and his contribution to Franco-Dutch relations.
About the laureate
Joost Gribnau (born in 1968) studies epigenetics and developmental biology. Since his appointment at Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, he has concentrated on genomic imprinting, specifically X chromosome inactivation. X inactivation prevents female mammals, who normally have two X chromosomes (XX), from having twice as many X chromosomes as males, who only possess a single copy of the X chromosome (XY).
Joost Gribnau has made important contributions to our understanding of the molecular mechanisms that underpin inactivation. Probably his most notable publication dates from 2009 and reported on the discovery of a protein in the ubiquitin ligase family, Rnf12 [Jonkers et al. Cell. 139; 999-1011 (2009)]. The Descartes-Huygens Prize will enable Gribnau to continue and intensify collaboration between his team and their counterparts at the Institut Curie and the Collège de France, for example by frequent visits and by organising a meeting for both teams in Paris.