Prisca Liberali awarded EMBO Gold Medal 2022

Prisca Liberali, awardee of the EMBO Gold Medal 2022
Prisca Liberali, awardee of the EMBO Gold Medal 2022

Prisca Liberali, a research group leader at the FMI and Adjunct Professor at the University of Basel, receives the Gold Medal of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO). She is recognized for her exceptional contributions to understanding the formation of intestinal organoids from stem cells and for developing new analytical tools.

EMBO is an organization of more than 1,800 leading researchers that promotes excellence in the life sciences in Europe and beyond. EMBO awards its Gold Medal annually to scientists under the age of 40 for outstanding contributions to the life sciences in Europe. The awardee receives a gold medal and a bursary of 10,000 euros.

FMI senior group leader Prisca Liberali is the recipient of this year’s EMBO Gold Medal. She receives the award for her outstanding research that defined the mechanisms driving the formation of 3D intestinal organoids, sometimes called "mini-guts", from stem cell cultures. In recent work, her group characterized the mechanisms that trigger symmetry-breaking during the formation of mouse intestinal organoids. Symmetry-breaking events are important steps in tissue formation as they allow the differentiation of initially identical cells into morphologically and functionally distinct cell types.

Her laboratory is also recognized for developing new powerful platforms and statistical approaches. These include a custom-made light-sheet microscope, which enables tracking of individual cells during intestinal organoid development over a timeframe of weeks, and an image-based screening test that has identified novel compounds improving intestinal regeneration in vivo.

Prisca Liberali, as awardee of the EMBO Gold Medal 2022, will give a lecture at Cell Bio 2022 , a joint meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) and EMBO, that will take place in Washington DC, USA, in December 2022.

About Prisca Liberali Prisca Liberali studied chemistry at Sapienza University in Rome and completed a PhD in physical chemistry at Mario Negri Sud Foundation in Italy. She then carried out postdoctoral research at ETH Zurich and Zurich University. In 2015, she started her own research group at the FMI in Basel and became an Adjunct Professor at the University of Basel. Liberali has made important contributions in fields ranging from fundamental chemistry to in vivo tissue regeneration. She is fascinated by the role of self-organization in collective cell behaviors. Her research group develops novel experimental, quantitative, and statistical methods for decoding the design principles of tissue organization. In 2017, Prisca Liberali received one of the coveted Starting Grants from the European Research Council (ERC), she became an EMBO Young Investigator in 2019 and has been awarded the Friedrich Miescher Prize in 2020.

’ EMBO media release (including a link to a VIDEO about Prisca Liberali recently shot at the FMI)
’ Liberali group webpage on
’ Light-sheet microscopy movie of intestinal organoid formation from a single cell
(Credit: Liberali lab)