Professor Sharon Peacock to be awarded the 2018 Microbiology Society Unilever Colworth Prize

This Prize is awarded for significant contributions in the field of microbiology

Professor Sharon Peacock to be awarded the 2018 Microbiology Society Unilever Colworth Prize

Professor Sharon Peacock. Photo credit: UCL

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.

“I am delighted to have been awarded the 2018 Unilever Colworth Prize by the Microbiology Society. I am indebted to my research group whose talent and hard work is the basis for our collective success, and to colleagues at the Sanger Institute and in particular to Julian Parkhill. Capitalising on the potential of new technologies and innovations that promise major benefits to patients and public health is a key objective for clinical and public health microbiology.”

Professor Sharon Peacock from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

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.

The Unilever Colworth Prize is sponsored by Unilever Research’s Colworth Laboratory.

Notes to Editors
Selected Websites
Tracking ‘superbugs’StoriesTracking ‘superbugs’
Infectious diseases can spread quickly in a hospital environment, particularly if the pathogen that causes the disease is resistant to the drugs relied on to fight it. Genomics may be able to help track these resistant pathogens and nip them in the bud before they become widespread…

This animation shows you how antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria, such as MRSA, can develop and spread, particularly in hospitals.

What are Staphylococcal infections?FactsWhat are Staphylococcal infections?
Staphylococcal infections are a group of infections caused by the bacterium Staphylococcus. Infection causes a range of symptoms, from skin conditions to food poisoning.

Contact the Press Office

Dr Samantha Wynne, Media Officer

Tel +44 (0)1223 492 368

Emily Mobley, Media Officer

Tel +44 (0)1223 496 851

Wellcome Sanger Institute,
CB10 1SA,

Mobile +44 (0) 7900 607793

Recent News

Low doses of radiation promote cancer-capable cells
New research in mice helps to understand the risks around exposure to low doses of radiation, such as CT scans and x-rays
Chan Zuckerberg Initiative boosts Human Cell Atlas research at the Sanger Institute
Seed Networks projects will focus on specific tissues, such as the thymus, lung, liver, kidney and immune system
Widely-available antibiotics could be used in the treatment of ‘superbug’ MRSA
Genomic analysis shows that a significant number of strains are susceptible to penicillin combined with clavulanic acid