ASB president Dr Matthew Baker awarded prestigious international grant

ASB president Dr Matthew Baker awarded prestigious international grant

Dr Matthew Baker, Senior Lecturer at the University of New South Wales, has been awarded a 2021 Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) Research Grant – Early Career to investigate how bacterial motility evolved.

HFSP Research Grants are highly competitive grants that support innovative basic research into answering some of biology’s most fundamental questions. The funding is awarded to teams with researchers from different countries whose projects focus on using interdisciplinary approaches and aim to solve problems that cannot be addressed by a single laboratory.

Out of 158 applications, only seven grants were awarded, and Dr Baker’s team project was the only successful project with an Australian lead investigator. Dr Baker will work on this 3-year project in collaboration with Professor Betül Kaçar from the University of Arizona, Dr Luke McNally from Edinburgh University and Dr Nick Matzke from Auckland University

The team’s project “How life got moving: reconstructing and re-evolving the bacterial flagellar motor, piece-by-pieceaims to experimentally recreate the emergence of bacterial motility. For this, they will study bacterial flagellar motor; the molecular machinery that allows bacteria to move. Understanding bacterial motility has potential applications in synthetic biology to manipulate bacteria to produce pharmaceuticals or chemicals used to produce bioplastics.

Dr Mathrew Baker, ASB President, will use the team-based, 1.8m grant from the Human Frontier Science Program to investigate how bacterial motility evolved.

Image credit: UNSW Sydney

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