Public Release: 

Top scientific honour for York biologist

University of York

Professor Ottoline Leyser of York's Department of Biology, has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, the premier honour for scientists of Britain and the Commonwealth.

One of Professor Leyser's most significant breakthroughs concerns the discovery of the Auxin receptor, the major hormone receptor in plants. Plant hormones integrate environmental, developmental, and genetic factors to regulate development. Understanding how they do this, helps us grasp the agricultural and environmental possibilities of plants.

Ottoline Leyser has worked at the University of York since 1994. She recently received a Rosalind Franklin Award from the Royal Society for an outstanding contribution to natural science engineering or technology.

"The quality of Ottoline's research is outstanding and it is extremely gratifying that this has been recognised by her election to the Fellowship of the Royal Society," said head of department, Professor Dale Sanders.

"This is an honour for the Department as well as for Ottoline personally. York's plant research is renowned world-wide and this is further acknowledgement of the strength of the research here."

Election to the Fellowship of the Royal Society is recognised worldwide as a sign of the highest regard in science. Candidates must be proposed by at least two existing Fellows and are assessed by Sectional Committees in each major field of science.

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Notes to Editors:

  1. Ottoline Leyser has a BA and PhD from Cambridge University. She held Post-Doctoral positions at Bloomington, Indiana, USA from 1990 to1993 and at Cambridge between 1993 and 1994. She became a Lecturer at the University of York in 1994, a Reader in 1999 and was appointed Professor in 2002.

  2. She is Co-Editor of The Plant Journal and is on the editorial board of a number of other bioscience publications, and has recently finished a three year term chairing the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) Genes and Developmental Biology Committee.

  3. Professor Leyser is the University's seventh Fellow of the Royal Society, and the second woman from York to be elected.

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