Views from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Wellcome Trust award for Polly Roy

Polly Roy, Professor of Virology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, has been selected for a Senior Investigator Award from the Wellcome Trust for her research into bluetongue virus.

The funding will enable Professor Roy to explore how complex viruses successfully invade host cells, replicate and cause disease and investigate how this information can be used to better control virus outbreaks.

Bluetongue virus is a pathogen of livestock and is common throughout the world including Europe, causing serious periodic outbreaks.

Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Awards support exceptional, world-class researchers, who hold an established academic position and have a compelling vision for their research. They provide support that is flexible and at a level and length sufficient to enable leading researchers to address the most important questions about health and disease and pursue innovative approaches that will push the boundaries.

Professor Peter Piot, Director of the School, said: “We are delighted at this announcement and proud of Professor Roy’s achievements. This Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award is welcome recognition for her pioneering work in structural virology, and an honour for the School.”

Earlier this year, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh awarded Professor Roy the General President’s Gold Medal in recognition of her excellence in research on bluetongue, including the first cell-free complex virus synthesis from synthetic genes.

(Image 1: Polly Roy in the lab. Credit: LSHTM. Image 2: High resolution image of bluetongue virus, revealing the arrangement of two surface proteins, indicating how the spike-like protein (pink and cyan) interrogates the cell surface and how the slightly hidden protein (green) may invade the host cell boundary. Credit: LSHTM.)

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