Cambridge scientists honoured at The Microbiology Society Annual Awards
Three Cambridge scientists are being honoured at The Microbiology Society Annual Awards in Birmingham this week.
Professor Sharon Peacock, a non-executive director at Cambridge University Hospitals and professor of public health at the University of Cambridge, wins the coveted Marjory Stephenson Prize awarded for exceptional contributions to microbiology.
She was the founding director of the Covid-19 Genomics UK Consortium (COG-UK) formed in April 2020 to provide SARS-CoV-2 genomes to UK public health agencies, the NHS and researchers.
During her career, she has raised more than £60million in science funding, published more than 500 peer-reviewed papers and trained a generation of scientists in the UK and elsewhere.
She said: “Microbiology has always been a vitally important discipline, but perhaps never more so than in this era of pandemics, antimicrobial resistance and the exploration of our microbiome and how this influences health and disease.
“I consider the scientific community fortunate in having the benefit of the ongoing contributions made by the Microbiology Society.”
Prof Ravi Gupta, an infectious disease consultant at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH) and a University of Cambridge professor of clinical microbiology, wins the Translational Microbiology Prize.
His team introduced the SAMBA II point of care test into clinical practice at Addenbrooke’s for the rapid diagnosis of Covid-19 in spring 2020.
His lab studied the evolution of the virus, the response to antibody-based therapies, and new variants. He became a co-opted member of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG), which advises the government.
“It represents a recognition of the work of my team and our collaborators over the years in applying scientific knowledge to combat viruses such as HIV-1 and SARS-CoV-2,” he said.
Dr Tanmay Bharat, who is a programme leader at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, wins the Fleming Prize for an early career researcher who has achieved an outstanding research record.
His laboratory studies the surfaces of prokaryotes - microscopic single-celled organisms, - at the atomic level using electron tomography and associated techniques. The work has important biomedical applications for improving treatment of infections.