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Microbial science research review

September 2006

Review of microbial science research (PDF 560KB)

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Part of our ongoing series of Strategic Reviews aimed at informing the Council's future direction and priorities. It complements our reviews of farm animal genomics and BBSRC-funded research of relevance to crop science.

The Microbial Science Review Panel, chaired by Professor Charles Dorman of Trinity College Dublin, consisted of experts in a wide range of microbiology disciplines and met several times over the course of the review. A consultation was also run by BBSRC office in order to solicit views from a wide range of stakeholders.

The Panel presented its findings to Strategy Board in September 2006 and the Board elected to set up a small working group drawn from our Strategy Panels and Research Committees to advise it further on implementing the Panel's recommendations. The working group reported back to Strategy Board in December 2006.

Microbial Science is a broad field that is of great importance to the overall health of UK bioscience and has a significant economic and social impact. It provides knowledge and skilled people to leading industries (pharmaceutical, biotechnology and food sector) and informs key policy areas such as food safety, farming, health and environment.

Microbial science cuts across virtually every aspect of our portfolio from basic functional cell biology and biotechnology through to the study of plant and animal disease, diet and health, and sustainable food and farming. Strategy Board agreed with the Review panel that Microbial Science in the UK is historically and currently strong.

Implementing key recommendations from the Review will now help to ensure that the discipline remains healthy and internationally competitive in the future. Further information will be available in the Minutes of the Strategy Board meeting 13 December 06, which will be published after the next Strategy Board meeting in March.

Working Group membership

  • Dr Ed Dart (Chair) (Strategy Board)
  • Dr Aileen Allsop (AstraZeneca)
  • Professor Judy Armitage (University of Oxford)
  • Professor Al Brown (University of Aberdeen)
  • Professor Simon Foster (The University of Sheffield)
  • Professor Charles Penn (University of Birmingham)
  • Professor Eleanor Riley (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)
  • Professor Ian Roberts (The University of Manchester)