Tony Trinci Award 2022
The Microbiology Society, together with the British Mycological Society, is delighted to announce Dr Kim Hammond-Kosack of Rothamsted Research as the 2022 winner of the inaugural Tony Trinci 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.
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. Her research team has been engaged in the global analysis of newly sequenced genomes of fungi that infect plants. Through a growing interest in large data sets, Dr Hammond-Kosack’s team, in collaboration with computational biologists at Rothamsted Research and the ENSEMBL team (EBI, Cambridge), have established the Pathogen-Host Interactions database (PHI-base) and connected this to the ENSEMBL databases; their aim is to speed up and refine the exploration of the pathogenic process and host defence.
Dr Hammond-Kosack 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 I have focussed mainly on the genus Fusarium. This is because of the ever-growing impact of several Fusarium species on the global supply of healthy, nutritious and safe cereal grain. More recently, I was fascinated to learn that the Quorn fungus F. venenatum, pioneered as a source of mycoprotein by Tony Trinci, was so closely related to these plant pathogenic Fusarium species. This unanticipated connection has since opened up to myself and my team many exciting and new types of comparative studies”.
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.”
President of the Microbiology Society, Professor Del Besra FRS said: “I am delighted that we have created the Tony Trinci Award in recognition of the contributions that Professor Tony Trinci has made through his roles both within the British Mycological Society and the Microbiology Society. His investigations in the fungal field have been pivotal in understanding fungal multicellular growth, leading to the translation of his research and production of the mycoprotein, Quorn. Dr Hammond-Kosack’s work on plant fungal pathogens make her thoroughly deserving of this inaugural Award.”
The British Mycological Society and Microbiology Society Tony Trinci Award will be presented annually to celebrate excellent mycology.
The British Mycological Society was founded 125 years ago to promote the scientific study of fungi and has since grown to be one of the major mycological societies in the world. The Society is committed to promoting cutting-edge scientific research, fungal conservation and species recording and the provision of educational resources. As a charity and membership body, the Society is open to all who are interested in supporting, promoting and studying the diverse and fascinating fungal kingdom.
The Microbiology Society is a membership charity for scientists interested in microbes, their effects and their practical uses. It is one of the largest microbiology societies in Europe with a worldwide membership based in universities, industry, hospitals, research institutes and schools. Our members have a unique depth and breadth of knowledge about the discipline. The Society’s role is to help unlock and harness the potential of that knowledge.
Read more about Dr Hammond-Kosack’s research here: www.rothamsted.ac.uk/our-people/kim-hammond-kosack