A Brighton University scientist has been awarded the 2011 Oxoid W H Pierce Memorial Prize for his research into the microbiology of the human digestive tract.
Dr Brian Jones, a lecturer at the university’s School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, was praised for his work.
In particular he was praised for research into the mobile genetic elements that can carry genes between different microbes in the human gut.
He set up a research group after joining Brighton University in 2008.
He is now extending his research to try to understand the role of gut microbes in human health and the development of various diseases such as colon cancer.
Dr Jones graduated from Cardiff University with a first class honours degree in genetics in 2000 and stayed on there to complete a PhD on bacterial pathogenesis.
He spent four years in the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre at the University College of Cork in Ireland.
In Cork he started his work on the human gut microbiota, the micro-organisms that live in the human digestive tract.
While there he became interested in the mobile genetic elements in these micro-organisms and began to develop strategies to investigate them.
Dr Jones said: “I’m delighted to be awarded this prize but I can’t take all the credit.
“I have been lucky enough to work with very many excellent people over the last 10 years, who have all been really supportive and helped me enormously, most recently colleagues at the University of Brighton and my research group.”
The prize is in memory of Bill Pierce, who worked as chief bacteriologist for Oxo and was a long-serving and active member of the Society for Applied Microbiology.
The society awards the annual prize.