Tanmay Bharat, Group Leader in the Structural Studies Division at the LMB, has been awarded the 2023 Microbiology Society Fleming Prize in recognition of his work in the area of structural microbiology.
Tanmay’s research focuses on studying prokaryotic cell surfaces at the atomic level by using electron tomography combined with other structural and cell biology techniques. Surface molecules mediate cellular interactions with the environment, playing important roles in key processes including cell adhesion, biofilm formation and antibiotic tolerance in pathogenic bacteria. Studying the surface molecules which allow pathogenic bacteria, such as P. aeruginosa, to evade antibiotic treatment through formation of a biofilm has important biomedical applications for improving treatment of infections.
After studying Chemistry at the University of Delhi, Tanmay read Biological Sciences at University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. Tanmay completed his PhD at EMBL Heidelberg, before moving to the LMB as an EMBO/FEBS long-term fellow in Jan Löwe’s group from 2013-2017. Tanmay was then a Sir Henry Dale Fellow and Group Leader at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford before returning to the LMB in 2022 as a Group Leader here himself.
As well as being chosen for the Fleming Prize, Tanmay and his research on prokaryotic surface layers and biofilms is also recipient of the 2018 Vallee Research Scholarship, the 2019 EMBL John Kendrew Award, the 2020 Philip Leverhulme Prize for Biological Sciences, 2021 Eppendorf Award for Young European Investigators, selected as a 2021 EMBO Young Investigator, recipient of the 2021 Lister Prize and the 2022 Colworth Medal from the Biochemical Society.
The Fleming Prize Lecture was established in 1976 by the Microbiology Society and named after Sir Alexander Fleming. It has recognised the work of 44 early career microbiologists and Tanmay is the first winner from the LMB. The recipient of the Fleming Prize Lecture will deliver a talk on their research at the Microbiology Society’s Annual Conference.