Fleming Showcase five-minute thesis profile: Rebecca Devine

04 November 2020

In celebration of the Microbiology Society’s 75th anniversary, 'Why Microbiologists Matter: a digital celebration of the journeys of our members’ will include a Fleming Showcase. Last year, we launched a call for abstracts from final-year PhD students (and those within one year of completion) to take part in a series of five-minute thesis slots at our Fleming Showcase event. This week we learn more about Rebecca Devine from the University of Anglia, UK.

Our Fleming Prize, named after founding member and first President of the Society, Sir Alexander Fleming FRS, is awarded each year to an early career researcher who has achieved an outstanding research record within 12 years of being awarded their PhD.

The Fleming Showcase will be a celebration of outstanding science in recognition of the legacy of past Fleming Prize winners and will demonstrate the impact of both established and up-and-coming scientists in addressing important challenges. The day is organised by a committee of Fleming Prize Winners, chaired by Sir Paul Nurse FRS and will take place between Monday 23 afternoon and all day Tuesday 24 November 2020.

Rebecca Devine

Rebecca first became interested in microbiology and antimicrobial resistance while undertaking a placement year at Public Health England, Porton Down, studying the development of drug resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of tuberculosis. 

After graduating with first-class honours in Pharmacology from the University of Manchester in 2015, she started her PhD at the University of East Anglia, which focused on characterising the biosynthesis of a promising new group of natural product antibiotics, the formicamycins, in a novel strain of Streptomyces bacteria that was isolated from the nest of African plant-ants. 

“Antimicrobial resistance affects everyone; that is what drives me to continue my research and makes me passionate about engaging with other scientists, policy-makers and the general public.”

During her PhD, Rebecca took part in several science communication events, both in schools and with wider audiences at science festivals. She has also been involved in several science policy activities, including supporting the work of the Chief Medical Officer and the Government Chief Scientist during her time as an intern at Research Councils UK.

Rebecca is now a postdoctoral researcher at the University of East Anglia, continuing her research into natural product antibiotic biosynthesis and regulation.

We asked Rebecca what presenting at the Fleming Showcase event meant to her:
“I am honoured to have been chosen to present my PhD research at the Fleming Showcase, especially amongst such a fantastic group of early career microbiologists, as it is a chance for me to communicate my research to a wider audience and meet with experts in the field of microbiology.”

Find out more about the Fleming Showcase event and register your place on our website