Top 10 most influential Microbiologist of 21st Century

Top 10 most influential Microbiologist of 21st Century


  • Post By : Tim Sandle,PHD

  • Source: Microbioz India

  • Date: 01 Nov,2015

Many people have made an outstanding contribution to the field of microbiology in the first two decades of this century and selecting ten is a difficult task. In selecting ten eminent researchers I have attempted to cut across the various sub-branches of Microbiology, taking in Clinical, Pharmaceutical, Marine Microbiology and so on. Others, given this task, may have come up with a different list; irrespective of that, I hope readers will appreciate, in the brief review that follows, why the following a worthy of inclusion.

Microbioz India this month cover story dedicated to Microbiologist of any people have made an outstanding contribution to 21st century in different sub branches.

Here we are representing an opinion and listing of Microbiologist selected by Dr. Tim Sandle, PhD, Senior Pharmaceutical Microbiologist and head in “Bioproducts laboratory, USA.

Here is the list of top 10 Microbiologist:

Scott Sutton – Pharmaceutical Microbiology  —- 10

Dr. Scott Sutton, who passed away in October 2015, was one of the founding fathers of pharmaceutical microbiology. Dr. Sutton was the founder of the Microbiology Network and Pharmaceutical Microbiological Forum, both of which promote microbiological understanding and education, particularly in the realm of contamination control. Dr. Sutton conducted some early research into antimicrobials and considered ways to neutralize the effects of antibiotics. Latterly he was involved in the definition of what exactly are ‘objectionable microorganisms’ in relation to non-sterile products and what to those charged with the release of such products need to be aware of.

Elizabeth Grice – Human Microbiome of the skin — 9

The advancements in our understanding of the human microbiome represents one of the most exciting developments in microbiology and this understanding has advanced knowledge relating to disease and promises to deliver a new field of personalized medicines. Dr. Grice has become the leading exponent of the skin microbiome. In relatively recent research, Dr. Grice’s research group found that the skin microbiome is governed by an ancient branch of the immune system called complement. In turn, it appears microbes on the skin tweak the complement system, as well as immune surveillance of the skin. The way this interacts with different people offers clues about several major skin diseases.

Kim Lewis – Discovery of the first new class of antibiotics in 30 years (teixobactin)— 8

Teixobactin is the first new type of antibiotic to be discovered since the late 1980s, and its discovery was announced in 2014. The discovery carries more significance especially in the era of antibiotic crisis, in which a rising number of microbial strains are evolving resistance to common antibiotic (and in the case of a narrower but more potent range, “multi-drug resistant” which infers resistance to more than one type of antibiotic.) Leading the new discovery was Dr. Kim Lewis. Dr. Lewis is the Northeastern University Distinguished Professor and the Director, Antimicrobial Discovery Centre. He is one of the foremost scientists in the quest for new antimicrobials.

Michael Kurilla – Ebola research–7

Michael Kurilla, MD, PhD is the director at the Office of BioDefense Research Affairs, U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Dr.Kurilla has undertaken some pioneering research into the Ebola virus. His research has found that the virus is adept at making itself look invisible, and it thereby avoids the body’s innate immune system. It partly does this by adopting three different structural forms during its lifecycle. These structural forms go some way to explain why what is a comparatively simple virus (made of only seven genes) proves to be so challenging to human host defenses. Dr.Kurillahas alosargued that we should not really be continuing to consider Ebola as a hemorrhagic fever (as it was known from its mid-1970s discovery) for the majority of deaths are the result of enteric diarrhea.

Also read:

Importance of Pharmaceutical Microbiology

Andrew Gewirtz – link between bacteria and obesity–6

The composition of bacteria in the human gut shapes whether a person is more prone towards obesity. In turn, this gut composition can be affected by diet with processed foods presenting some modern day challenges. This is a recent key finding made by Professor Andrew Gewirtz, from the Centre for Inflammation, Immunity and Infection, based at Georgia State University. Professor Gewirtz specializes in research on innate immunity, microbiome, intestinal inflammation and obesity. His studies have shown that inflammation plays a central  role  i many disease states.

Jonathan Eisen – Marine Biology–5

Jonathan Eisen, Ph.D., is a professor at the Genome Centre at the University of California (UC), Davis, and holds appointments in the Department of Evolution and Ecology in the College of Biological Sciences and the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology in the School of Medicine. He is one of the world’s leading authorities on marine biology. His work has led to a deeper understanding of how communities of microbes interact with each other or with plant and animal hosts to create new functions. This has involved advancements in the field of phylogenomics.

Gordon Dougan – Microbial Diseases–4 

Professor Gordon Dougan works at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. His research focuses on the genetic analysis of host/pathogen interactions during infection, particularly those  involving enteric bacteria. He has made important contributions in the field of vaccinology, especially in relation with improving vaccine delivery to poorly resourced regions.

Julian Parkhill – Microbial Genomics–3

Professor Julian Parkhill is also an employee with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. Professor Parkhill has been pioneering in the use of high throughput sequencing and phenotyping to study pathogen diversity and variation, including several human and animal pathogens. This has led to advancement in understanding with the causative agents of the diseases: tuberculosis, plague, typhoid fever, whooping cough, leprosy, diphtheria and meningitis. By looking at how closely related strains within a species, or group of species interact, this has helped to answer questions about how or why do organisms specialise on particular hosts? how have they evolved?; and how does variation correspond to virulence?

Didier Raoult – microbial genetics–2

Dr.Didier Raoult is classified among the first ten French researchers, across all scientific subjects, by the journal Nature. He is famous for the discovery of several ‘giant viruses’. Raoult’s team carried out the discovery of very large sizes of viruses, including the largest virus known to date: the Mimivirus. Raoult and his team have identified and described approximately 96 new pathogenic bacteria and showed their implication in human pathologies. Two bacteria have been named for him: Raoultellaplanticola and Rickettsia raoultii. In addition to this, Dr. Raoult is a leading practitioner in paleomicrobiology, which involves examining causes of death from microorganisms in history.

Anthony Hilton – Microbiology Education–1

Anthony Hilton is Professor of Applied Microbiology at Aston University in the U.K. His main research interest is with chronic and communicable conditions. As well as being a leading researcher, Professor Hilton has appeared on many television programmes, educating the public in microbiology. This includes “Grime Scene Investigation”, an eight-part television series broadcast on the BBC. His public education activities includes interpreting studies a study of bacteria found in cars,  on mobile phones, on the hands and under the fingernails, for a general audience.

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