Fellowships announced for departmental researchers

The Society of Biology and the American Academy of Microbiology have recognised departmental researchers in their recent honours lists.

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The American Academy of Microbiology, the honorific leadership group within the American Society for Microbiology, the world's oldest and largest life science organisation, recognises scientists for outstanding contributions to microbiology. Professor Judith Armitage has been elected as one of its fellows in 2011. Only 8 out of a total of 78 new fellows are non-US, and Professor Armitage is one of 3 from the UK. The award is a measure of international recognition of her research into bacterial behaviour.

Professor Armitage is Director of the BBSRC-funded Oxford Centre for Integrative Systems Biology (OCISB) in the department. Her work on bacterial swimming behaviour spans the molecular to the population level analysis, aiming to understand the signalling network that responds to the external and internal bacterial environment. Chemosensory behaviour is critical for most bacterial colonisation, whether pathogenic, symbiotic or surface biofilm.

Professor Armitage's research is interdisciplinary, using a range of approaches from live cell dynamic fluorescent protein imaging to mathematical and computer modelling and single cell and population behavioural analysis.

The Society of Biology also announced new Fellows recently. Three of these are researchers in the department: Professor Mark Sansom, Professor Anthony Watts and Dr Nicole Zitzmann.

Professor Mark Sansom is head of the Structural Bioinformatics and Computational Biochemistry Unit in the department which uses computational modelling to explore how the structure of membrane proteins is related to their function. A detailed understanding of this aspect of membrane protein biochemistry is important for developing new therapies against disease.

As Director of the Biological Solid State NMR Centre at Rutherford Appleton Laboratories, and head of the Biomembrane Structure Unit in the department, Professor Anthony Watts uses a range of methods and techniques to probe the structure and dynamics of membranes. He pioneered the use of solid-state Nuclear Magnetic Resonance to determine high-resolution details of membrane protein structure.

Dr Nicole Zitzmann is a Reader in Glycobiology at the Oxford Glycobiology Unit which is part of the Biochemistry department. She uses a range of approaches to investigate the behaviour of viruses such as HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C inside cells in order to develop more effective antiviral therapies.

Professors Sansom and Watts and Dr Zitzmann join other Society of Biology Fellows in the department including Dr Lynne Cox who received her fellowship last year.





Page Last Updated: 11/04/2011 by Jeremy Rowntree
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