Dr Hautbergue joined the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN) in August 2012 to set up a specialist laboratory for RNA Molecular Biology. His area of research and teaching focuses on the investigation of gene expression in physiological and neurodegenerative diseases with a particular research focus on motor neurone disease (MND).
Research in his group aims at identifying dysregulated gene expression events that cause incurable neurodegenerative conditions such as MND in order to correct these using gene therapy approaches.
Dr Hautbergue and colleagues showed for the first time that manipulating a cellular process involved in the transport of RNA molecules across nuclear pores confers a novel potential promising strategy of neuroprotection for the most common form of MND.
Throughout his career, Dr Hautbergue has had a variety of roles across the RNA field which have allowed him to become an advisor to students and colleagues on translational and RNA biology experiments. As an elected member of the Royal Society of Biology, Dr Hautbergue will also contribute to policy making, strategy and influence developments in science within the Royal Society of Biology.
Having grown up in a small village in Burgundy in rural France, Dr Hautbergue developed an interest in the biology behind things from an early age. He said: “From the age of 12, I became so fascinated by biology that for my 14th birthday, I had built with my father a lab bench in my bedroom. It was great and pleased everyone at home as I used to perform experiments with chemicals as well as microscopic observations with insects or small animals on the kitchen dining table.”
On being elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, Dr Hautbergue said: “It is a great honour and privilege to have been invited to become a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology (FRSB) following a nomination and a review process that was unknown to me.”
“Being recognised by others I don’t know, but who have judged the research I carry with passion as a prominent contribution to the advancement of biological sciences is an incredible feeling at this stage of my career. It is difficult to find words. It is with great excitement and enthusiasm that I will engage with the other members of the Royal Society of Biology.”
Dr Hautbergue added: “None of this would have been possible without the excellent researchers that are surrounding me, both junior and senior, as well as all of the technical and professional teams that support our work. I would like to thank all of them for the inspiring research and teaching atmosphere they create in the Department of Neuroscience.
"In particular, I express my deepest acknowledgements to Dr Lydia Castelli and Dr Ya-Hui (Erica) Lin who are talented postdoctoral researchers in my team and to the fantastic collaborators I feel lucky to routinely work with. These include Prof Dame Pamela Shaw, Prof Mimoun Azzouz, Dr Laura Ferraiuolo, Dr Alex Withworth, Dr Marta Milo and Dr Tennore Ramesh. I am also immensely grateful to the patrons that support our Institute and the patients with MND who kindly provide biosamples which are essential to our research.”
Being part of the Royal Society of Biology means that Dr Hautbergue joins a community of over 17,500 leading minds that make up the diverse membership of individuals and organisations from across the world.
Read more about Dr Hautbergue’s achievements and experiences here