Discovery Fellowship award for outstanding early career researcher

Dr Rebecca Devine has been awarded a BBSRC Discovery Fellowship to take forward her innovative research into finding the antibiotics of the future.

Rebecca is one of 22 outstanding early career scientists to be named today under the prestigious programme that offers three-year fellowships worth up to £400,000.

BBSRC’s Discovery Fellowships are offered to individuals poised to become not only outstanding researchers, but outstanding leaders in their field.

To be successfully named as a Discovery Fellow, candidates must demonstrate that they are undertaking ground-breaking science that not only aligns with BBSRC’s strategic priorities, but that also has the potential to make real impact.

Rebecca’s research uses CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing to facilitate antibiotic discovery in the bacteria, Streptomyces formicae.

“This is an exciting time for antibiotic discovery especially here at the John Innes Centre where you are surrounded by frontline discoveries – such as the recent one on albicidin. We have such excellence in the field of antibiotics and Streptomyces that it seemed like the perfect place to do this fellowship,” she commented.

A postdoctoral researcher in the group of Professor Matt Hutchings, Rebecca can now look towards taking her project forward while taking the first steps towards independence and becoming a group leader.

“This was my first application for a discovery fellowship, so I was surprised as well as delighted when I heard the good news. I’d like to thank my department for their support and I’m looking forward to working on this project and all it might entail, managing publications, recruiting my own undergraduate students.”

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.”

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