Dr Sarah Coulthurst has been awarded one of the most prestigious prizes in microbiology for her work studying how bacteria are able to cause disease.
Dr Coulthurst, Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow in the University’s School of Life Sciences, has been awarded the Fleming Prize, one of the top honours bestowed by the Microbiology Society. She will receive a £1000 cash prize and has the honour of delivering the 2018 Fleming Prize Lecture at the Microbiology Society’s 2018 Annual Conference in Birmingham in April.
The Fleming Prize is awarded annually for outstanding work in any branch of microbiology by an early career researcher and is named after Alexander Fleming, who was the first president of the Society (1945-1947) and received a Nobel Prize for his discovery of penicillin.
“I am very happy and honoured to receive this award,” said Dr Coulthurst. “It is a testament to the hard work of all my lab members and colleagues. I have been a member of the Microbiology Society since the start of my research career and have always found it an inspiring and supportive community.”
Bacterial disease in the era of increasing antimicrobial resistance represents one of the most pressing health problems facing the world. Dr Coulthurst’s research explores how bacterial pathogens are able to overcome host defences and rival bacteria to cause disease.
She aims to discover the weapons that bacteria use to attack the organisms they infect, and also to understand the ways in which bacteria kill each other in order to become successful. Ultimately, it is hoped that her work may contribute to developing novel antimicrobial strategies.