Professor Gordon Dougan FRS to be New Microbiology Society President

09 July 2024

Gordon Dougan.jpeg

The Microbiology Society is delighted to announce that our new President will be Professor Gordon Dougan FRS from the University of Cambridge. Professor Dougan’s Presidency will run for three years, beginning on 1 January 2025, when the Society’s current President, Professor Gurdyal Besra FRS, steps down.

Professor Dougan joined the Society in 1976 and is an Emeritus Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Cambridge. Throughout his career his research has focused on the genetic analysis of host/pathogen interactions during infection, taking both a basic and applied research approach. He has worked extensively in both academia and industry, making important contributions in the field of vaccinology, with an emphasis on improving vaccine delivery to poorly resourced regions. His group exploit genomic approaches to study host-pathogen interactions and the analysis of microbial populations. He is a Board member of the Hilleman Laboratories, a not-for-profit vaccine company based in Singapore and is a Trustee of the International Vaccine Institute, based in South Korea.

Professor Dougan is a Fellow of the Royal Society, the Academy of Medical Sciences and is an EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organization) member. He established the Centre for Molecular Microbiology and Infection at Imperial College London and was the Board of Management representative for Pathogen Research for ten years (2004-2014) at the Wellcome Sanger Institute. In 2020 he was awarded the Albert Sabin Gold Medal for his work on and dedication to affordable vaccines. At the Microbiology Society he was the recipient of the Marjory Stephenson Prize in 2019, the Translational Prize (formerly Unilever Colworth Prize) in 1993 and the Fleming Prize in 1988. He is the only person to be invited to deliver all three of these Prize Lectures.

He said of his appointment: “It is a fabulous honour to represent the Society as President but also an opportunity to work towards a bright future in a demanding world. I look forward to meeting Society members on a regular basis and working with the staff to improve and promote the microbial sciences globally”.

Microbiology Society President Professor Gurdyal (Del) Besra FRS said: “It is fantastic news that Gordon will be the next President of the Microbiology Society. He is an exceptional scientist, widely recognised for his contributions to vaccinology, infection and genetics. Gordon starts his Presidency at the same time that we implement important changes to the to the Microbiology Society’s governing body, to ensure that the Society can draw on a sufficiently wide range of expertise for its future decision-making as the environment in which it operates changes dramatically. I am confident that under his Presidency the Society will continue to thrive as a home to microbiologists everywhere.”

Dr Peter Cotgreave, Chief Executive of the Microbiology Society, said: “I am delighted to welcome Gordon as our next President. He follows Del Besra who has done so much to ensure the Society’s governance and other structures better represents its truly diverse and international membership. Gordon joins the Society at a time of change but also of great opportunity. I know he will support us in our ambition to demonstrate the impact of microbiology in resolving urgent global problems. He is an outstanding microbiologist and will be warmly welcomed as President by our community.”