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Professor Anne Osbourn elected as a member of EMBO

07 July 2022

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Professor Anne Osbourn (OBE, FRS, Foreign Member of the NAS) has been elected as a member of the prestigious European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO). 

Following the announcement today Professor Osbourn, a group leader at the John Innes Centre, joins a community of more than 1,900 leading researchers promoting excellence in the life sciences.  

Professor Osbourn said: “I am honoured to join the EMBO community of outstanding scientists. As well as being a personal honour, it is recognition of the outstanding work and dedication of the researchers who have made up the Osbourn group over the years at the John Innes Centre.” 

As an organisation EMBO’s chief goals are to support talented researchers at all stages of their careers, stimulate the exchange of scientific information, and help build a European research environment where scientists can achieve their best work.  

New members are elected annually in recognition of their contributions to scientific excellence.  

EMBO Director Professor Fiona M. Watt said: “The new EMBO Members and Associate Members are exceptional scientists, who carry out leading research across a variety of fields, ranging from cell biology and cancer to vaccine development and machine learning. I am delighted to welcome them to EMBO, and I know that they will enrich the life of the organization immensely.” 

The 67 newly elected members for this year reside in 22 countries; 24 of them (36%) are women.  

New members are invited to attend the EMBO members’ meeting on 26-28 October this year in Heidelberg. 

EMBO Members are actively involved in the execution of the organisation’s initiatives by evaluating applications for EMBO funding and by serving on EMBO Council, Committees and Editorial Boards. 

Professor Osbourn’s research at the John Innes Centre is focused on plant natural products biosynthesis. Her discovery that biosynthetic pathways are organised in clusters in plant genomes like beads on a string has accelerated the ability to find new biosynthetic pathways and chemistries of potential importance for the development of drugs and other useful compounds.  

Professor Osbourn was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2019 for services to plant science and in the same year she became the 30th scientist in the history of the John Innes Centre to be elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society. Earllier this year she was also elected a Foreign Member of the US National Academy of Sciences.  

Professor Osbourn is also a trustee of the New Phytologist Trust, founder of the Science, Art and Writing (SAW) Trust (an international charity that promotes innovation in science communication), and a published poet. 

Professor Graham Moore, acting director of the John Innes Centre said: “Anne’s election to EMBO is well-deserved and recognition of her huge contribution and leadership in the exciting fields of plant-microbe interactions and plant natural product biosynthesis.” 

Previous John Innes Centre researchers honoured by EMBO include Professor Sarah O’Connor who was elected a member in 2017. 

This article was originally posted on our partner, the John Innes Centre’s website. 

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