Leading fungal research selected for UK's most prestigious annual science exhibition

Leading fungal research selected for UK's most prestigious annual science exhibition

Research at the University of Aberdeen into potentially deadly fungi has been selected to exhibit at the UK's leading showcase of world-class research.

Aberdeen Fungal Group, one of the largest centres of excellence in medical mycology, will take part in the 2016 Royal Society Science Summer Exhibition, held in London in July.

The group’s submission is based on the research being carried out through their £5.1m Wellcome Trust Strategic Award in collaboration with 12 other UK institutions. 

Professor Neil Gow, Head of the Aberdeen Fungal Group, said: “Many people don’t appreciate the pervasive role of fungi to our planet’s ecosystem. Although often our friends, as the source of many essential foods and pharmaceutical products, fungi are also one of the world’s most important causes of life-threatening human infections. Our exhibit titled “Killer Fungus” will tell this story and highlight the leading position of Aberdeen in understanding fungi and developing interventions for fungal infection.”

The Royal Society event is part of a larger programme of public engagement being championed by the research team and supported by the University’s Public Engagement with Research team, and includes a new exhibition at Aberdeen Science Centre. This is also associated with the substantial public outreach funded by the University’s Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund.

Dr Kenneth Skeldon, Head of Public Engagement at the University of Aberdeen and Acting Chair, Aberdeen Science Centre said: “We’re delighted that the University has won an exhibition place at the Royal Society Summer Exhibition. The competition for this is extremely stiff and it provides a high profile platform to showcase Aberdeen’s world-class research pedigree. This also complements a fantastic new local exhibition at Aberdeen Science Centre about fungal research which is due to open next spring.”

The Royal Society is the independent scientific academy of the UK, dedicated to promoting excellence in science. Its annual Summer Science Exhibition is a week-long festival showcasing cutting edge science from across the UK, drawing over 12,000 visitors that include school pupils, industry and policy makers. The researchers from the University of Aberdeen will join teams from 22 other shortlisted UK universities and science institutions and will engage the audience with hands-on activities, talks and other events. 

Details of the work of the Aberdeen Fungal Group can be seen at their Wellcome Trust Strategic Award website: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/mmfi/ and at the Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund website: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/issf/.

The 2016 Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition can be visited at https://royalsociety.org/events/2016/07/summer-science/ and contains information and online activities associated with the 2015 event.