John Innes Centre researcher wins prestigious Royal Society of Chemistry prize

Professor Barrie Wilkinson, a project leader in molecular microbiology at the John Innes Centre, has been awarded the Royal Society of Chemistry Interdisciplinary Prize for 2018.

The Royal Society of Chemistry’s Prizes and Awards recognise achievements by individuals, teams and organisations in advancing the chemical sciences.

Professor Wilkinson’s work focuses on understanding how bacteria make important natural products including antibiotics and anticancer molecules.

His group are developing methods for the discovery of new natural products, and for their structural modification through biosynthetic engineering.

“It is a great honour for me to receive the Royal Society of Chemistry Interdisciplinary Award, and it reflects the diverse contributions made by my students, postdocs, colleagues and collaborators over many years,” said Professor Wilkinson.

“It is important to acknowledge that much of this work was undertaken in an Industrial setting, as well as in my academic lab, and reflects the highly innovative science taking place in both of these different environments,” he added

The Interdisciplinary Prize is awarded for combining molecular biology, enzymology and chemistry in the engineering of biosynthetic pathways to microbial metabolites.

Professor Wilkinson receives £5000 and a medal, and will complete a UK lecture tour.

The Royal Society of Chemistry is the world’s leading chemistry community, advancing excellence in the chemical sciences.

Dr Robert Parker, chief executive of the society said: “The chemical sciences are vital for the wellbeing of our world and chemical scientists help to change people’s lives for the better. That’s why we’re so proud to celebrate the innovation and expertise of our community through our prizes and awards.

“This year’s inspiring and influential winners come from a range of specialisms, backgrounds, countries and communities. Each has done their bit to advance excellence in the chemical sciences – to improve the lives of people around the world now and in the future.”

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