BBSRC announces 22 new Discovery Fellows

Medical science laboratory with diverse multi-ethnic team of microbiology scientists having a meeting

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) has named the 22 successful candidates for its prestigious Discovery Fellowships 2022.

BBSRC has announced details of the 22 budding researchers who will take forward innovate projects as part of its latest three-year Discovery Fellowship programme.

The successful fellows have each been awarded grants of up to £400,000 out of total fund of £8.9 million.

Outstanding people and projects

A highly sought-after award, BBSRC’s Discovery Fellowships are offered to individuals poised to become not only outstanding researchers, but outstanding leaders in their particular field.

To be successfully named as a Discovery Fellow, prospective candidates must demonstrate that they are undertaking ground-breaking science.

Science that not only aligns with BBSRC’s strategic priorities, but that also has the potential to make real impact.

Meet the Discovery Fellows

Dr Christopher Bell, University of Leeds

Project: discovering the genetic drivers for host resource allocation between symbionts.

Dr Rebecca Devine, John Innes Centre

Project: using CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing to facilitate antibiotic discovery in novel Streptomyces species.

Dr Linda Grillova, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

Project: universal in vitro culture model as a replacement strategy to study pathogenic treponemes.

Dr Gabriella Tamar Harris Heller, University College London

Project: integrative approaches for characterising small-molecule binding to disordered proteins.

Dr Joy Edwards-Hicks, University of Cambridge

Project: the role of lipid metabolism in mitochondrial function and interlinked T cell ageing across scales.

Dr Lorna McAusland, University of Nottingham

Project: exploiting the untapped potential of non-foliar photosynthesis in a warming world.

Dr Joseph McKenna, The University of Warwick

Project: the ties that bind: understanding actin-organelle interactions in planta.

Dr Sean Meaden, University of York

Project: identifying drivers of phage infectivity in natural microbial communities.

Dr Alex Mullins, The University of Warwick

Project: evolution-inspired engineering of non-ribosomal peptide synthetase assembly lines to create novel bioactive scaffolds.

Dr Vikki Neville, University of Bristol

Project: developing a translational and computational approach to studying animal affect and welfare.

Dr Laura Nolan, Quadram Institute Bioscience

Project: when food goes bad: understanding biofilm formation to prevent food spoilage.

Dr Richard Obexer, The University of Manchester

Project: ultra-high throughput evolution of designer enzymes with extended amino acid alphabets.

Dr Ana Sofia Fernandes de Oliveira, University of Bristol

Project: dynamical-nonequilibrium simulations: an emerging approach to study time-dependent structural changes in proteins.

Dr Kjara Pilch, Imperial College London

Project: mapping age-related dysregulation of in vivo synaptic plasticity to molecular synaptic diversity.

Dr Siul Ruiz, University of Southampton

Project: quantifying soil biomechanics using X-ray diffraction-imaging and physical modelling.

Dr Roger Rubio Sanchez, University of Cambridge

Project: DNA rafts: an information processing pathway for synthetic immunity.

Dr Dirk Sanders, University of Exeter

Project: the spread of antibiotic resistance in bacteria-plasmid networks.

Dr Tina Schreier, University of Oxford

Project: unravelling plasmodesmata formation in C4 plant Gynandropsis gynandra.

Dr Pieter Steketee, The University of Edinburgh

Project: dissecting fatty acid metabolism in livestock trypanosomes.

Dr Louise Stephen, The University of Edinburgh

Project: understanding biomineralisation in the fish dermal skeleton and its role in health and development.

Dr Bartlomiej Troczka, University of Exeter

Project: understanding the evolution and function of xenobiotic detoxification enzymes in a global crop pest.

Dr Bridget Watson, University of Exeter

Project: determining the role of defence systems in the evolution of the Azospirillum-wheat mutualism to enhance crop yields for sustainable agriculture.

Strengthening UK bioscience

Dr David McAllister, Director of Talent, Inclusion and Funding Delivery at BBSRC, said:

As the UK’s major public funder of bioscience research and innovation, BBSRC takes seriously its responsibility to invest in and develop talented individuals and teams.

BBSRC’s Discovery Fellowship programme is well-established and renowned for not only supporting outstanding science, but for supporting and developing our future leaders.

The 22 individuals named as BBSRC’s latest Discovery Fellows demonstrated their aptitude to deliver outstanding science as well as their capability and capacity as future bioscience leaders.

We look forward to tracking their progress and success as they develop their skills, abilities and experiences for the wider benefit of UK bioscience.

Further information

Could you be a future BBSRC Discovery Fellow? Why not watch our video playlist to find out more about what our Discovery Fellowships are and what BBSRC is looking for from our past and present Discovery Fellows?

Applications for the BBSRC Discovery Fellowship 2023 programme are now open.

Apply to the BBSRC Discovery Fellowship 2023 programme before 25 May 2023 at 4pm UK time.

Top image:  Credit: gorodenkoff, iStock, Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

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