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Professor Tim Spector wins award for gut bacteria research

Professor Tim Spector has been awarded the 2019 DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences Microbiome Science Award, in recognition for his leadership and pioneering work in the microbiome field.

Tim-Spector-Award

Each year, the Danisco Foundation recognises leading scientists for scientific excellence and a remarkable record of achievement in advancing science and technology relevant to the future of food, nutrition and health.

Tim Spector, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology and Director of TwinsUK, was selected for his outstanding work over the last 30 years since founding TwinsUK, the UK twins registry, which is the richest collection of genotypic and phenotypic information on a cohort worldwide.

Professor Spector’s research in recent years has focused on the microbiome and its relationship with health, leading to the world’s largest personalised nutrition study of its kind. 

Speaking ahead of the award ceremony in Denmark, Professor Spector paid tribute to all the twins who take part in TwinsUK: “We now have a better understanding of how the microbiome is intimately linked with our health. I am excited to continue working in this field as we unravel the relationships between our genetics, the food that we eat, the bacteria in our guts and our health.

I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone involved in TwinsUK, and in particular the twins. After all, our twins were giving up stool samples for microbiome science long before it became mainstream!– Professor Tim Spector

The medalists received their awards during a ceremony held yesterday at DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences’ Campus Brabrand, Denmark. During the ceremony, each recipient presented their research to scientists and leaders of DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences.

Professor Spector was awarded alongside Professor Pascal Hols who received the Science Excellence Medal.

“The contributions that Professor Pascal Hols and Professor Tim Spector have made to enhance our understanding of lactic acid bacterial genetics and metabolism and the microbiome, respectively, are among the finest examples of scientific advancements in the fields of health, food and nutrition. We are honoured to recognise their outstanding scientific accomplishments with the Danisco® Science Excellence Medal and Microbiome Science Award,” said Angela Naef, DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences’ Global Leader for Technology & Innovation and Danisco Foundation board member.

The awards were founded in 2002 by the Danisco Foundation to help improve food products, notably industrially produced foods. With time and technological advancements, the scope of the awards has expanded to food, nutrition and health. The Danisco Foundation itself was established in 1981 and provides funding and grants to support predominantly food science and research.

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Tim Spector

Tim Spector

Head of Department, Department of Twin Research & Genetic Epidemiology