Royal Society university research fellow starts

The Royal Society has appointed a university research fellowship to Dr Andrew Truman, funding him to work at the John Innes Centre for an initial five years.

Dr Truman, joined the institute at the beginning of October and will investigate how bacteria are able to make medically useful compounds.

“I find it astounding that nature is capable of making incredibly complex compounds by such elegant and efficient routes,” he says.

His appointment follows a junior research fellowship at the University of Cambridge. His interest in science was sparked by a childhood desire to know how materials are made and what they are made from.

“I was very keen to work at the John Innes Centre because of its excellent reputation in Streptomyces genetics, its vibrant community of natural products chemists and biologists, and facilities that are ideal for my research programme,” said Dr Truman.

The scheme is for outstanding scientists in the UK who are in the early stages of their research career and have the potential to become leaders in their field. It is extremely competitive and provides the opportunity for scientists to build an independent research career.

Dr Truman will work in the Department of Molecular Microbiology, where research on the soil bacterium Streptomyces is helping to reveal how it makes clinically useful antibiotics. Over half of all antibiotics in current use are derived from Streptomyces.

New discoveries revealing how they are made in nature can be the spark for developing new ones that overcome the problem of antibiotic resistance.

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