Prestigious award for UCC professor

Professor Paul Ross received the award for his work on the human microbiome in both early and late human life.
Prestigious award for UCC professor

Prof Paul Ross Director of APC Microbiome Ireland SFI Research Centre. Photo By Tomas Tyner, UCC.

THE director of the APC Microbiome Ireland SFI Research Centre, headquartered at University College Cork (UCC), has received the prestigious Danisco Foundation Microbiome Science Award.

The awards honour leading academics advancing the future of food, nutrition and health.

Professor Paul Ross received the award for his work on the human microbiome in both early and late human life.

Prof Ross’ focus has been on bacterial competition in microbiomes and the discovery of techniques used by bacteria to outcompete each other.

His work is aimed at developing microbiome editing tools for applications including food bio-preservation and alternatives to antibiotics for animal and human health improvement.

Prof Ross is especially interested in bacteriocins: molecules produced by bacteria to kill other bacteria that have significant potential as antibiotic alternatives, which are urgently needed given the antimicrobial resistance crisis humanity now faces.

Together with collaborators, Prof Ross pioneered the discovery and application of an arsenal of bacteriocins from an array of diverse bacteria.

Adiso Therapeutics, an APC Microbiome Ireland spin-out company co-founded by Prof Ross and his APC colleague Prof Colin Hill, now focuses on the development of therapies for the treatment of infectious and inflammatory diseases.

“Narrow spectrum antimicrobials that only kill the infectious microbe are the way forward because they exert minimum if any collateral damage to the surrounding microbiota which is an essential prerequisite for any antimicrobial now that we know how important the microbiome is to human health,” Prof Ross said.

In addition, Prof Ross and colleagues have demonstrated that bacteriocins can be modified through bioengineering to generate more potent targeted antimicrobial molecules.

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