Professor Sophien Kamoun elected as EMBO member

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Prof Sophien Kamoun has been elected as a member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation.

EMBO elects fewer than 100 members per year. The organisation’s membership now includes about 1,600 eminent scientists working across Europe.

Kamoun250Prof Kamoun’s group at The Sainsbury Laboratory studies molecular plant-microbe interactions, particularly those involving filamentous plant pathogens including the oomycete Phytophthora.

Prof Kamoun joined The Sainsbury Laboratory in 2007 and served as Head of Laboratory from 2009 to 2014. At The Sainsbury Laboratory, Prof Kamoun uses genomics resources to improve understanding of plant-pathogen interactions, unravel novel processes and concepts in plant-microbe interactions, and devise original disease management strategies based on this knowledge.

Throughout his career, Prof Kamoun has made ground-breaking contributions to understanding plant-parasite interactions. His work on oomycete effector biology and pathogenomics has resulted in new approaches to breeding disease resistant crops.

Prof Kamoun said: “I’m deeply honoured by this recognition. I’m passionate about plant pathogens, how they evolve and how they infect plants. My goal is to continue to inspire others about science and research.”

Professor Nick Talbot, Chair of The Sainsbury Laboratory Council said “I am very pleased to see Sophien Kamoun elected as an EMBO Member. EMBO Membership is a great honour, recognising research excellence in molecular biology, and this award is thoroughly deserved. Sophien has been a pioneer of applying genomics to our understanding of plant diseases caused by oomycetes. He has made very significant contributions to understanding how these filamentous pathogens have evolved the capacity to cause plant disease, and identifying the cellular changes they bring about within host plants. Sophien is a true leader and has had a very wide influence across the whole field of plant-microbe interactions. Importantly, he is also an excellent mentor of young scientists, instilling in them very high standards of rigour, but coupled with enthusiasm, intellectual curiosity and a true sense of the sheer fun of doing great science.”

Prof Nick Talbot also added “I am very proud to see the scientists at The Sainsbury Laboratory being recognised at the highest international level. It is great for science across the Norwich Research Park.”