The Microbiology Society will award the 2018 Unilever Colworth Prize to Professor Sharon Peacock CBE, from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. This Prize recognises excellence and is one of five Prizes awarded by the Microbiology Society awarded to those making significant contributions in the field of microbiology, based on nominations received from the membership.
Professor Peacock uses whole genome sequencing technology in public health, helping to increase the speed of outbreak analysis. In 2010, she was the clinical lead on the first study to use next generation sequencing approaches to analyse the local and global transmission patterns of Staphylococcus aureus.
Professor Peacock has been working with local hospitals and regional microbiology services to implement sequence-based approaches to clinical microbiology. Her work has demonstrated that microbial genomics can be used in this context, demonstrating that genetic sequence data can be used to direct interventions during ongoing outbreaks. In 2015, Sharon was awarded a CBE for her service to medical microbiology.
The Microbiology Society Prizes will be awarded at their Annual Conference, to be held from 10-13 April 2018 at the International Conference Centre (ICC) in Birmingham, UK, where Professor Peacock will present her Prize lecture.