New executive director for The Sainsbury Laboratory

Picture By Jim Wileman  09/04/2014  Professor Nick Talbot, Professor of Molecular Genetics and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Knowledge Transfer The Sainsbury Laboratory (TSL) has launched its new vision and announced the appointment of Prof Nicholas Talbot FRS as executive director.

Based at Norwich Research Park (NRP), TSL is a world-leading research institute working on the science of plant-microbe interactions.

Prof Talbot is a world-renowned expert in molecular plant pathology. He is currently the deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Impact at the University of Exeter, and leads an internationally renowned research group. He will be join TSL in September 2018.

He said: “I am greatly honoured to be joining the world’s premier laboratory for the study of plant-microbe interactions. TSL is home to some extraordinarily talented scientists and I am looking forward to working with them. We have some exciting times ahead, with new hires to come and many other new developments that will keep the laboratory at the forefront of its field.”

The appointment ushers in a new era for the laboratory – cementing an updated governance structure, refreshed vision, and renewed research and capital funding from the Gatsby Charitable Foundation. These developments coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Gatsby Charitable Foundation and TSL’s upcoming 30th anniversary.

The new vision will be further enabled by an even closer partnership with the University of East Anglia (UEA), where Prof Talbot was awarded his PhD in 1990.

UEA Vice-Chancellor Prof David Richardson said: “I am delighted by the appointment of Prof Talbot and by the University’s future partnership with TSL, which will help to deliver an exciting vision addressing the major global challenges in plant disease resistance.”

The new scientific and strategic vision will further strengthen TSL’s position as a global institute for plant health that focusses on the fundamental and translational research required to tackle important and emerging plant diseases affecting crop production worldwide.

The current head of laboratory Prof Cyril Zipfel said: “Our new vision is based on an iterative cycle that takes scientific findings from the laboratory to the field and vice-versa to guide advances in disease control. This approach aims to ensure sustainable food security in the face of climate change and emerging crop diseases.”

Prof Zipfel, has been a driving force in enabling the re-structure and appointment of Prof Talbot into the newly created role. After 13 years at TSL, Prof Zipfel will be moving on to a new role as chair of Molecular & Cellular Plant Physiology at the University of Zurich (Switzerland) in June 2018, but will retain close links with TSL.

Article source: University of East Anglia