Meet the Young Microbiologist of the Year Finalists: Laura Petch
Posted on September 3, 2019 by Microbiology Society
The Sir Howard Dalton Young Microbiologist of the Year Prize is awarded by the Society each year. The prize recognises and rewards excellence in science communication by a Microbiology Society member who is a postgraduate student or postdoctoral researcher, having gained their PhD in the last two years. Two finalists are shortlisted from each of the Society’s Divisions based on a presentation given at the Microbiology Society Annual Conference or Irish Division meetings. The nine young scientists on this shortlist will give a 15-minute presentation at the Microbiology Society’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 12 September. In the run up to the AGM, we will be getting to know the finalists.
Eukaryotic Division Finalist: Laura Petch
Current position: PhD student, University of Kent
Title of talk: The impact of natural genetic variation on protein aggregation in Saccharomyces species
Research interests: My main research interest is epigenetics in yeast, and I explore extrachromosomal regulators of phenotypic heterogeneity in Saccharomyces sensu stricto.
Theme of talk: My talk will focus on protein aggregation, which is associated with neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and Huntington’s disease, and the possible influence of genotype on this aggregation. Specifically, my research focuses on similar types of amyloid aggregates in Baker’s yeast and other closely related species.
If I wasn't a microbiologist, I would be... a strength and conditioning coach and full-time competitive powerlifter.