Professor Gurdyal Besra and Dr David Grainger are winners of the Microbiology Society 2016 Prize Lectures, which are awarded annually by the Society to recognise significant contributions to the field of microbiology. 

Gurdyal ‘Del’ Besra, Bardrick Professor of Microbial Physiology and Chemistry in the School of Biosciences (pictured right), is awarded the 2016 Colworth Prize. Sponsored by Unilever Safety and Environmental Assurance Centre (SEAC), the prize is awarded to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding contribution to translational microbiology.

Professor Gurdyal Besra

Del is a leader in the study of Mycobacterium tuberculosis cell wall biochemistry and physiology, whose work has identified the modes of action of the many anti-TB drugs. He is currently working to identify new drug targets and identify the mechanisms that TB uses for intracellular survival. 

He said of his award: "I'm delighted to receive the Colworth Prize, and it represents the achievements of my laboratory over many years and the numerous postdoctoral researchers and PhDs that have worked with me.” 

Dr David Grainger (pictured left), Reader in Molecular Microbiology in the School of Biosciences, is the winner of the 2016 Fleming Prize. Named after Sir Alexander Fleming, founder and first President of the Society for General Microbiology, the prize is awarded to an early career researcher who has achieved an outstanding research record. The recipient is awarded £1,000. 

Dr David Grainger

David has made an important contribution to microbiology through his innovative studies in Escherichia coli, investigating the relationship between transcription factors, DNA folding and gene expression. 

He said of his award: “Winning this award is an immense honour and a reflection on the hard work of many individuals over numerous years. Reading the list of previous Fleming lecturers is a humbling experience since it contains many individuals whom I admire greatly. Hopefully, I will make an equally important contribution to the field of microbiology over the course of my career.” 

Other winners of the 2016 Prize Lectures are Professor Philippe Sansonetti (Pasteur Institute and Collège de France), Professor Steve Oliver (University of Cambridge) and Professor Wendy Barclay (Imperial College London). 

Del and David will each present a Prize Lecture about their work at the Microbiology Society Annual Conference 2016, which will be held from 21–24 March at the ACC in Liverpool.

The School of Biosciences congratulate Del and David on their fantastic achievement.