Early Career Committee announces its first award-winner
Kevin Whitley (Newcastle University) to receive inaugural RMS Early Career Award following huge response from applicants
The RMS’s recently-established Early Career Committee has announced the winner of its first Early Career Award
After receiving and assessing more than 20 nominations, the judging panel named Kevin Whitley as the winner, for his impressive post-doc research project looking into the dynamics of the essential bacterial division protein FtsZ.
During the project, which began in 2017, Kevin divided his time between the groups of Cees Dekker (at TU Delft, Netherlands) and Séamus Holden (Newcastle University, UK). Combining the expertise of both groups, his work incorporated nanofabrication and microscopy elements, enabling the development of a method to image bacterial division proteins in high-resolution while perturbing them rapidly with antibiotics. This approach, among other methods, has enabled the discovery of key roles of the essential cytoskeletal protein FtsZ in cell division and the dynamics underlying these roles.
Kevin said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to receive this award, which came as a really nice surprise and also reflects the efforts and expertise of my research colleagues. In terms of my ongoing research, I’m continuing to investigate the dynamics of bacterial division at a molecular and cellular level using nanofabrication, microfluidics, and high-resolution microscopy. I'm also continuing to develop methods for bacterial microscopy through instrument control and image analysis software.”
Plans are in place for Kevin to receive his award as soon as the Committee is able to host in-person events once again. He will also receive a free registration for MMC2021 and an invitation to present a 30-minute Keynote talk at the event’s Early Career satellite meeting.
About the award
The Early Career Award, which will be awarded annually, recognises the achievements of an outstanding early career scientist in their contribution to the imaging community. This contribution may be through an impressive application of imaging to research, development of imaging or image analysis tools, an inspiring public engagement initiative, or a demonstration of exceptional support to other imaging scientists.
RMS Early Career Committee Chair Liam Rooney said: “The response we had to this, our first award, was fantastic, and the quality of the nominations made it really difficult for our judges to come to a final decision. It just goes to show how much amazing work there is going on out there, being done by people still at the outset of their careers in science and microscopy. We’re absolutely delighted for Kevin, who is a very worthy winner. His research is right at the cutting-edge of his field, and promises to deliver further important results.”