University of Dundee

Two CLS Principal Investigators made members of the new RSE Young Academy of Scotland

07 Sep 2011

Two Principal Investigators from the College of Life Sciences have been made members of the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s new and highly regarded “RSE Young Academy of Scotland”.

Dr. Nicola Stanley-Wall and Dr. Sarah Coulthurst from the Division of Molecular Microbiology are two out of sixty-eight young academics to be selected for this exciting new initiative, the first of its kind in the UK.

The RSE has established the Young Academy as a unique opportunity to bring together some of the most able and innovative young academics, entrepreneurs, artists and professionals in Scotland. The aim of the initiative is to stimulate creative ideas and collaborative working that will help address some of the key challenges facing Scotland and contribute to solving some of the global challenges of the 21st Century.

Dr. Nicola Stanley-Wall is a Lecturer in Molecular Microbiology whose research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanism of biofilm formation,investigating how molecular biology can be used to understand the signalling processes that control multi-cellular behaviours exhibited by bacteria.

Dr. Sarah Coulthurst is a Royal Society of Edinburgh Research Fellow and studies bacterial pathogens and protein secretion systems. Herresearch is centred around elucidating how bacterial pathogens are able to cause disease, which could provide both an improved understanding of basic biological processes and, ultimately, contribute to novel therapeutic antimicrobial strategies.

At news of the announcement Dr. Stanley-Wall said, "I am very pleased to be appointed to the RSE young academy. I am looking forward to working with this inspiring group of people over the coming years. " Dr. Coulthurst added, “I too am delighted to be included in this exciting new venture.”

Both Dr. Stanley-Wall and Dr. Coulthurst are very active in public engagement with science and have made a great contribution to making life sciences accessible and exciting to children and young adults.

Professor Mike Ferguson, Dean of the School of Research at CLS said, “I am very pleased that CLS will be so ably represented in the RSE Young Academy by Nicola and Sarah. I look forward to seeing this group shape its own agenda and inform science policy innovation. Young brains are good brains!”

The average age of the first group of members of the Young Academy is 36 and over 40% are women. They cover a wide range of expertise from biologists, geoscientists and engineers to lawyers, social scientists and entrepreneurs. There are members from all parts of Scotland, as well as those originally from elsewhere in the UK or other parts of the world.

A rigorous selection procedure resulted in 68 young academics, entrepreneurs and professionals being chosen to be the first members in Scotland. The Young Academy will be launched at a ceremony in Edinburgh in November. Members were selected from over 300 applicants.