Scientific Leadership and Creative Thinking – Wheat Researcher Award

Dr. Philippa Borrill received a prestigious award from the Society of Experimental Biology (SEB).

The President’s Medal Awards honor outstanding early career scientists and are presented at the SEB Annual Conference every year.

Dr Borrill, Wheat Genetics Researcher and Group Leader at the John Innes Centre, said: “I am delighted to be recognized with this award – it is a great opportunity to share my research with the wide range of biologists around the world. within the SEB. I feel privileged to be working on wheat at such an exciting time. »

As the recipient of the 2022 President’s Medal in the plant’s biology section, Dr. Borrill will be presenting on his research at the SEB conference to be held July 5-8 in Montpellier, France.

Upon hearing the news of the award, Professor Dale Sanders, Director of the John Innes Center said: “This award is so well deserved. Philippa is an outstanding scientist, wonderful role model and mentor, and I am thrilled that she was awarded a President’s Medal.

The awards are divided into animal, cell, and plant biology categories. To be nominated, researchers must demonstrate “scientific leadership and possess qualities that make them respected by their peers and seen as a creative and innovative thinker”.

Dr Borrill was a PhD student and research fellow at the John Innes Centre, which he left in 2018 to take up a post as a lecturer in plant biology at the University of Birmingham. She returned to John Innes Center as group leader in September 2021.

His research focuses on two key areas: first, how genes are turned on and off in the complex wheat genome which contains multiple copies of most genes; second, how can we improve the nutritional content of wheat, especially iron and zinc.

Dr. Borrill has contributed to important publications on wheat research, including the 2018 international collaboration that assembled the most comprehensive genetic map of wheat to date.

His group has also helped make wheat genomics tools, web resources and information freely available to other researchers. One such resource, a gene expression atlas, has been used by more than 28,000 people worldwide.

Dr. Borrill’s work in wheat genomics and transcriptomics has been recognized with awards such as the 2017 International Wheat Genome Sequencing Leadership Award and the 2019 Tansley New Plant Scientist Medal for Excellence in Plant Science.

She was elected in 2021 as Chair of the Monogram Network (British Small Grain Cereals) Steering Committee and as an Early Career Science Representative to the Association of Applied Biologists Council.

As a STEM Ambassador since 2011, Dr. Borrill has contributed to events encouraging schoolgirls to work in science and has provided support and mentorship to PhD students, postdoctoral researchers and BBSRC Discovery Fellows.