Elected: 2016
Discipline: Cell and Molecular Biology
Professor Paul Robert James Birch FRSE

Professor of Plant Pathology and Deputy Head, Division of Plant Sciences, University of Dundee.

Professor Paul Birch is Professor of Plant Pathology at Dundee University and works jointly between the university and the James Hutton Institute. His research focusses on molecular and cell biology of crop diseases, particularly the notorious potato blight pathogen that precipitated the Irish Famine in the 19th century. He is especially interested in how this pathogen delivers so-called effector proteins into potato cells, and how these effectors target host proteins to manipulate or suppress the plant immune system. Paul works closely with international academic and industrial organisations to try to ensure future food security.