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Winter 2015

Outstanding researchers recognised by BBSRC Anniversary Awards

Highlights from: 20 years of bioscience

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) has recognised outstanding contributions to bioscience made by four of its research community. As part of BBSRC's 20th anniversary, the awards demonstrate pride for the UK's world-leading bioscience research base and the impact it has achieved in the last two decades.

Three awards will be presented to individuals who have accomplished significant advances in bioscience research and one award will recognise excellence in bioscience communication. Each winner will receive a prize medal (pictured above), as well as £2,000, at the Great British Bioscience Festival in November.

Excellence in Bioscience

  • Professor Caroline Dean, John Innes Centre
  • Professor Dame Linda Partridge, University College London
  • Professor Jeff Errington, Newcastle University

Excellence in Bioscience Communication

  • Professor Russell Foster, University of Oxford

Professor Jackie Hunter, BBSRC Chief Executive, said: "Our 20th anniversary year is the perfect time to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of researchers that BBSRC has supported. These awards highlight outstanding achievements that benefit us all and help to make the UK world-leading in bioscience."

Professor Caroline Dean
Caroline Dean has made a huge contribution to the study of developmental timing in plants. Her work has focused on the mechanism by which prolonged cold influences flowering. Her discoveries have broad significance in the fields of epigenetics, co-transcriptional regulation and evolutionary biology. Her laboratory also played a major role in developing tools for the reference plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Caroline has taken major leadership roles nationally and internationally and her work has been recognised by election to EMBO, the Royal Society, US National Academy, Leopoldina Academy, award of an OBE and the Genetics Society Medal.

Professor Dame Linda Partridge
Professor Dame Linda Partridge has a sustained record of outstanding research achievements, initially as an evolutionary biologist and also through her work on mechanisms of ageing. She has produced outstanding publications and has been active in research, service and outreach activities, for which she has many marks of recognition. She has trained a large number of students and post-docs who have gone on to become group leaders in the expanding field of research into ageing, and has been a champion of the importance of research into aging, helping to significantly build capacity in this area for which she was recognized with the Lord Cohen medal of the British Society for Research on Ageing.

Professor Jeff Errington
Jeff Errington is distinguished for his many contributions to the fundamental understanding of bacterial structure and function. He has been a pioneering father of the new field of bacterial cell biology. His lab initiated studies into what are now recognised as many of the key components of the machines governing the growth, shape and cell cycle of bacteria. Errington's largely BBSRC funded work has been recognised through numerous awards and honours, including Fellowship of the Royal Society, EMBO, the American Academy of Microbiology and the UK Academy of Medical Sciences. Errington has contributed significantly to UK and European efforts to enhance the profile of work on antibiotic discovery and development in the light of the increasing threat of resistance.

Professor Russell Foster
In addition to his distinguished research on sleep and circadian rhythms, for which he was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society and Academy of Medical Sciences, Professor Russell Foster's broad contribution to science communication is outstanding. He developed multiple science and music education projects, most notably with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. His TED talk in 2013 has attracted over 4.6 million views. He is a regular contributor to the Cheltenham Science Festival and has chaired the Festival since 2010. In 2013 Russell was appointed as the first Chair of the Public Engagement Committee at the Royal Society. He has published three popular science books, and is a regular contributor to newspapers, magazines, radio and television.



BBSRC invests in world-class bioscience research and training on behalf of the UK public. Our aim is to further scientific knowledge, to promote economic growth, wealth and job creation and to improve quality of life in the UK and beyond.

Funded by Government, and with an annual budget of around £484M (2013-2014), we support research and training in universities and strategically funded institutes. BBSRC research and the people we fund are helping society to meet major challenges, including food security, green energy and healthier, longer lives. Our investments underpin important UK economic sectors, such as farming, food, industrial biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.

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