LSTM’s senior lecturer Dr Grant Hughes has been announced as one of the first recipients of the prestigious Royal Society Wolfson Fellowship.
The scheme, which announced its first eight recipients earlier this week, is worth £8 million. It aims to support UK universities and research institutions to recruit and retain outstanding senior research scientists, particularly researchers from outside the UK.
Dr Hughes, who has recently arrived at LSTM from the University of Texas Medical Branch, will use the Fellowship to help expand his team here at LSTM. He said: “I’m delighted to have received this prestigious fellowship. These resources will assist in recruiting members of my lab to the UK to continue our exciting work on understanding the role of the microbiome on mosquito biology, and in developing novel control strategies to reduce mosquito-borne disease.”
The Fellowships have been designed to strengthen research in the UK’s best university departments and research institutions in fields considered to be strategically important to the institution, in LSTM’s case this includes arbovirus research, a field in which LSTM is already a world leader. Dr Hughes will be looking at the how the mosquito microbiome can be exploited to design novel mosquito control strategies in the fight against arboviruses, which includes Zika, dengue and chikungunya.
LSTM’s Director, Professor Janet Hemingway CBE FRS, said: “LSTM has a long history of employing the very best researchers in their field from around the world, and we are incredibly proud of the international make-up of our staff. For science to flourish it is vital that we are able to recruit the highest possible quality of talent regardless of their place of origin and we are delighted for Grant that this Fellowship will allow him to transfer a multi-national group to the UK.”