New Annual Award Will Reward Top Fungi Researchers

  • 30
  • MAR
  • 2022

Rothamsted’s Dr Kim Hammond-Kosack has been awarded the inaugural Tony Trinci Award by The Microbiology Society, together with the British Mycological Society.

The new award will be presented annually to celebrate excellence in mycology.

Dr Hammond-Kosack is a molecular plant pathologist with more than 30 years’ experience in molecular plant pathology and molecular genetics, investigating fungal and viral pathogens of wheat, barley, tomato, potato, oilseed rape and Arabidopsis.

She said: “I am very honoured to receive this inaugural award. Throughout my research career I have been fascinated by fungi. Fungi are refreshingly flexible, possessing so many different host invasion strategies, dispersal mechanisms and slick approaches to the successful occupancy of different environmental niches.”

Since the late 1990s, Dr Hammond-Kosack has focussed mainly on the genus Fusarium, many species of which pose a serious threat to the global supply of safe cereal grain.

A species from this group, F. venenatum, also forms the basis of the popular meat-substitute brand Quorn – which Professor Trinci helped pioneer.

President of the British Mycological Society, Professor Janet Quinn said: “Professor Tony Trinci was a past President of both the British Mycological Society and the Microbiology Society, so it is very fitting that our Societies have together created the Tony Trinci Award in recognition and celebration of his enormous contribution to mycological research.

“Tony's meticulous investigations of the growth kinetics and physiology of filamentous fungi provided the framework for understanding fungal multicellular growth, which was also applied commercially to optimise the production of the mycoprotein, Quorn.

“Dr Hammond-Kosack’s ground-breaking work on plant fungal pathogens, as well as the emerging connections between her work and that of Tony Trinci on Fusarium, make her highly deserving of this inaugural Award.”

Dr Hammond-Kosack will give her Award presentation, ‘Comparing genomes and gene functions between closely related Fusarium species that occupy different environmental niches’ at the British Mycological Society Annual Conference, on 6 April 2022.

About Rothamsted Research
Rothamsted Research is the longest-running agricultural research institute in the world. We work from gene to field with a proud history of ground-breaking discoveries, from crop treatment to crop protection, from statistical interpretation to soils management. Our founders, in 1843, were the pioneers of modern agriculture, and we are known for our imaginative science and our collaborative influence on fresh thinking and farming practices.
Through independent science and innovation, we make significant contributions to improving agri-food systems in the UK and internationally. In terms of the institute’s economic contribution, the cumulative impact of our work in the UK was calculated to exceed £3000 million a year in 20151. Our strength lies in our systems approach, which combines science and strategic research, interdisciplinary teams and partnerships.
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About LAT
The Lawes Agricultural Trust, established in 1889 by Sir John Bennet Lawes, supports Rothamsted Research’s national and international agricultural science through the provision of land, facilities and funding. LAT, a charitable trust, owns the estates at Harpenden and Broom's Barn, including many of the buildings used by Rothamsted Research. LAT provides an annual research grant to the Director, accommodation for nearly 200 people, and support for fellowships for young scientists from developing countries. LAT also makes capital grants to help modernise facilities at Rothamsted, or invests in new buildings.