2020-11-17

Jörg Vogel announced as new president of the Academy of Microbiology

The Founding Director of the HIRI will take over from Philippe Sansonetti

Professor Jörg Vogel (Würzburg, Germany) has been announced as the President of the European Academy of Microbiology (EAM) from 1 January 2021. Prof Vogel will take over from Prof Philippe Sansonetti, the former President of the Academy since 2012. He thanked and acknowledged his predecessor and stated his intent to “continue to promote microbiology as a field of study and recognize excellence within its practice”. Vogel also outlined his vision to “work to grow the size and reputation of the Academy” and emphasized the importance of international scientific cooperation. Vogel is a German microbiologist in the field of RNA biology, and is the Founding Director of the Würzburg-based Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research (HIRI), a site of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI). He also directs the Institute of Molecular Infection Biology (IMIB) of the Medical Faculty at the University of Würzburg in Bavaria, Germany, and has been a member of the EAM since 2015.

Professor Jörg Vogel © HIRIProfessor Jörg Vogel © HIRI

About Professor Vogel

Jörg Vogel spent part of his undergraduate studies in Biochemistry at Imperial College London, UK and graduated from Humboldt University, Germany; where he also went on to pursue his PhD with a thesis on Group II intron splicing. He subsequently carried out postdoctoral research in Sweden and Israel. Between 2004 and 2010 he led an independent junior research group at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Berlin. In 2009 Vogel became full Professor and Director of the IMIB and has been the Founding Director of the Würzburg-based Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research since 2017.

His laboratory investigates the diversity of noncoding RNA functions and RNA-binding proteins in major bacterial pathogens and in bacteria that make up the human microbiome. Vogel’s work focuses on several bacteria from Salmonella Typhimurium to anaerobic microbes that are associated with colorectal cancer such as Fusobacterium nucleatum, and developing RNA deep sequencing-based techniques to capture the RNA world of any microbe, ideally at the single-cell level. Ultimately, his work aims to understand how and why bacteria use RNA as a regulator during infection, and exploit this knowledge to develop programmable RNA antibiotics that target pathogens and edit the microbiota with precision.

Vogel is a member of EMBO, the German National Academy of Sciences, as well as the European and American Academies of Microbiology. He is also on the board of directors of the RNA society. In 2017, he received the Leibniz Prize, Germany’s most prestigious research award, for his work combining RNA biology and infection research and was recognized with the Feldberg Prize for Anglo-German scientific exchange in 2019.

About the European Academy of Microbiology

The European Academy of Microbiology was established in June 2009, with the goal of promoting and recognizing excellence in microbiology across Europe. The objectives of the Academy are to be the authoritative voice of microbiology in Europe and promote the potential of microbiology and microbiologists in Europe and globally. The Academy also aims to be an advisory source for governmental and other decision-making bodies.

The members of the European Academy of Microbiology are experts from across the diverse fields of microbiology, with a notable record of publications, patents or inventions and, contributions to the microbiological community. The recruitment process is highly selective and based on a peer-review evaluation by current members. The founding President of the EAM was Prof Jörg Hacker and a full list of members can be found on the EAM website.

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