IGI Director of Microbiology Jill Banfield has been awarded the 2023 van Leeuwenhoek Medal for her contribution to the understanding of microbial communities and interactions between microbes and the environment. Her pioneering work includes the development of genome-resolved metagenomics and advancing community proteomics to study diverse bacteria, archaea, and phages, adding new branches to the tree of life.
“I have had an unusual path from mineralogy and geochemistry into microbiology and through the amazing epoch of genome-resolved metagenomics and the discoveries this enabled,” says Banfield. “What I have accomplished is largely due to the incredible students, postdocs, and staff that I have worked with. The award is also a testament to the insight and bravery of the program managers who gave me the chance to begin to work in biology, and to our collaborators, some of whom have been with us along many steps of the way.”
“Our entire IGI team is thrilled to congratulate Jill on this well-deserved recognition,” says Jennifer Doudna, IGI Founder and President. “Jill is the microbiologist with the greatest impact on their field over the past decade. Her ground-breaking work in characterizing complex microbial communities has paved the way for new and exciting discoveries, advancing our understanding of the micro world and its importance to the world around us. This prestigious award is a testament to Jill’s dedication, passion, and unwavering commitment to advancing the field of microbiology.”
The van Leeuwenhoek Medal is awarded once every ten to twelve years by the Royal Netherlands Society for Microbiology (KNVM) to a recognize remarkable contributions to the field of microbiology and impact on society. Banfield is the first woman awarded this medal in its 125 year history.
The award ceremony will be held on Wednesday, April 5th, 2023 in Papendal, Netherlands.