The European Molecular Biology Organisation, better known by its acronym EMBO, announced earlier this week the names of the 2013 Young Investigator Awards. Among 23 young scientists from across Europe receiving this accolade is Dr Andrew Lovering from the School of Biosciences at the University of Birmingham. With a success rate of only 12%, this prestigious award selects “tomorrow’s life science leaders”, according to Gerlind Wallon, EMBO Deputy Director. “The status of Young Investigator offers a level of recognition that brings immediate benefits to scientists at an early stage of their careers.”


Dr. Lovering’s laboratory is investigating an unusual bacterium named Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus. This small organism burrows into other bacteria and eats them from within, eventually killing them. Using tools such as X-ray crystallography, he and his group seek to understand how this process plays out at the molecular level. One potential benefit of this work is to learn from nature and develop new ways of combating problematic bacteria, in healthcare and in the context of agriculture.

EMBO Young Investigator

Professor Steve Busby, Head of Biosciences, comments: “We delight in Andy Lovering’s achievement. The School of Biosciences is extremely fortunate to have early career scientists whose work is becoming eminently visible on the international stage. Andy is part of a growing roster of highly talented young staff in the School, including our six Birmingham Fellows. In celebrating this success we reaffirm our aspiration to propel the School of Biosciences to the top among its peers in the UK.”